Why it’s important to observe Black History Month

BHMblog-imageIn the United States, the month of February is observed as Black History Month or National African American History Month, and we use the month to remember the important contributions and achievements of African Americans throughout our nation’s history. The celebration can be felt nationally and worldwide as many organizations, cities, states and countries host events that educate on the rich culture, and memorable figures of African American history. As a new month of remembrance begins, let’s consider the important reasons why Black History Month is observed each year.

Celebrate with knowledge

Carter G. Woodson was the sole individual responsible for creating Negro History Week in Washington, D.C., in February 1926. To Woodson, the black experience was too important simply to be left to a small group of academics, and believed that his role was to use black history and culture as a weapon in the struggle for racial uplift. His goal was to ensure that school children be exposed to black history. Woodson chose the second week of February in order to celebrate the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass

The development of Black History Week to a full month was proposed by the leaders of the Black United Students at Kent State University in February 1969, and they held their inaugural celebration one year later, in February 1970. Quickly following that event, schools followed suit, creating clubs, playing host to lectures and more, all of which is still seen today.

In 1976, the bicentennial of the United States, President Gerald R. Ford expanded African American week into a full month. He said the country needed to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of African Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.�

This holds true today when all too often only the most negative aspects of African American communities get highlighted. We are overwhelmed with images of rowdy athletes and reality “stars� as examples of the success of black people. And we are subjected daily to unfair stereotypes and assumptions from a culture that is still learning to accept us.

Black History Month is an integral part of our nation’s tradition in which we continue to promote positive examples of poignant historical events, exemplary leaders and steps towards societal change. This remembrance is not only deeply meaningful for the African American community, but imperative for the greater understanding of national and world history.

Engage the community

By reliving and remembering history, we create awareness of the struggles and challenges that African Americans overcame in this country. This proven perseverance will serve as inspiration for the diverse community of Aurora, CCA and the rest of America. February has become a time designated for reflection, open dialogue, interdisciplinary education, and shared advocacy initiatives. Every race is connected to the rich history of this nation, and by celebrating Black History Month everyone can be included in a tradition of acknowledgement, inclusion and community engagement.


a stamp printed in USA shows Frederick Douglass leader of the abCCA is hosting several Black History Month events including a Black History Live Tour with Frederick Douglass on Feb. 19, a riveting workshop by Cynarra Tweed on Black Feminism on February 24, a Social Justice discussion on February 25 and Beyond Ferguson: Panel Discussion on Feb. 26, which will host several influential voices all discussing the incidents in Ferguson, Mo. Check the calendar for ideas on how to participate in the celebration.

 


Inform the youth and reflect on the past

Although we have an African American president, many young people are not aware of the sacrifices and struggles that those before them have made to be where we are today. We can’t take this accomplishment as an end point, however. We should use this opportunity to reach even greater heights. It’s easy to take the rights we have for granted if we don’t remember the determination that earlier generations showed, all of us have the potential to forget them. As the world continues to diversify with groups of many different origins, cultures and creeds, it is as important as ever to celebrate the histories that make up the collective account of our nation. It is important that we reflect and celebrate the monumental contributions and use them as a platform for future growth.

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About the Author

Regina Edmondson is the Assistant Director of the Office of Student Life at CCA where she is responsible for the development and administration of comprehensive student activities, co-curricular programming and events, activities and program designed to meet the diverse needs of the campus community. Regina is active in her community she is an Aurora Rotarian, serves as Program Director for Jack and Jill of America Denver chapter and is on the advisory board for the Salvation Army. In the past she served as president and vice president of the Cherry Creek Business Women’s Network and held positions on the Colorado Business Women’s Board of Directors. At the end of the day, Regina’s most rewarded when spending time with her family.  

Comments

  1. Ariana

    February 8, 2017

    The February 24th 2015 is a portent month because it’s Black History Month and it is important because father Luther King because a person how to say his friend that was a slave get out of the slaves and he helped slaves and now the slaves get freed up and that’s why black history month is important to people some people don’t know who he is so they can look

  2. Devin

    February 24, 2016

    Black history month is shareing the same everything equal

  3. Renee

    February 3, 2016

    Thank you for sharing this. It is disappointing to talk to the younger generation and hear how much they do NOT know about the hardships, terror, and sacrifices that our ancestors and earlier generations faced on a day to day basis.

  4. Mary Ellen Danuser

    February 3, 2015

    Thanks for sharing! This is a very interesting article.

    I recently published a book Freedom To Choose and was wondering to whom I can submit a copy of my Press Release.

    Thank you.
    Mary Ellen Danuser

    • Nicole O'Reilly-Barash

      February 3, 2015

      Hi Mary Ellen,
      Our marketing contacts are listed here: http://www.ccaurora.edu/news-events/pr-marketing-contacts

    • azam

      October 20, 2015

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