CINCINNATI, February 8, 2014 – Nearly ninety years ago, in 1926 Negro History Week made its debut in America as the second week in February. Black historian Carter G. Woodson created it with the clear and convincing purpose to highlight the achievement of accomplishment and at the same time stressed that the holiday be eliminated when, “black history became fundamental to American history.”
In 2015 one would have to ask this very serious question; Is Black History Month really necessary in 2015? After all, this is the 21st Century and shouldn’t the nation and especially black people be seeking a nation where hyphenation is ended so that there are no more African-American add-ons? What exactly is America or even black Americans really celebrating in terms of accomplishments that need to be singled out based upon race and not upon individuality?
A couple years ago one of the most accomplished and noted authors of the 20th century Maya Angelou, who also happened to be black, seemingly agreed with the premise. She explained in an interview:
“We want to reach a time when there won’t be Black History Month, when black history will be so integrated into American history that we study it along with every other history,” according to Fox News.
Just how many years and how many decades will it take for black Americans to consider they are part of the melting pot where all ethnicities and cultures are truly one amazing collection of Americans? It appears that for some, melting pot America is not in their agenda, and they would not profit if Americans began to see themselves as one nation of citizens under God.
These infamous characters are the noted race-baiters who need to focus America and its citizens upon the past misdeeds of others who have long passed into the burial ground of history. In 2015, all Americans have an opportunity and yes even an obligation to move on and stop reliving the past practices and outrages of racism which once permeated nearly every single aspect of America’s culture.
Barack Obama, a person of black heritage is now president and blacks have been elected governors, to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Just how many “firsts” are truly left to acknowledge or celebrate? Again the question, where again is the need for Black History Month?
Was it not the aim and the goal of the fore fathers of black Americans who rose up from slavery and set their goal to be included in all aspects of America? My own grandfather and grandmother graduated from college in 1902 and they did not set as their goal to see their children and descendants separated by racial distinction from then and for all eternity.
2015, marks the 150th anniversary of blacks being freed from slavery. Why should America be focusing on black history month when all the barriers that seem so insurmountable are now gone?
The jury should be in and the verdict is definitely clear, that Black History Week and Black History Month have met its original goal. The creator of Black History Week and now month was never intended to have an unlimited run. Black history is now mainstreamed into what it always should have been, and that is; part of America’s history.
Even celebrated Academy Award winning actor Morgan Freeman has stressed that the 89 year run of this type of celebration is done. In a CBS Sixty Minutes interview he said, “Black History Month is ridiculous. Black History is American History!”
There you have it, now let America and black Americans in particular start making the case for a celebration of American History Month that incorporates the greatness of the nation’s melting pot of cultures. Let the celebrating begin.