Embracing Black History Month

William T. Robinson, Jr.

William T. Robinson, Jr.

Once again, a month is set aside to highlight the achievements and accomplishments of African Americans. While this should be an ongoing endeavor in institutions of education, unfortunately it is not. The effect of not incorporating Black history daily in the public school system has presented dire consequences, supporting stereotypes and myths about Blacks that aren’t true. In fact, you have a large number of Blacks who do not feel good about them and relegate themselves to second-class status, believing the hype by racist media propaganda. We are talking about media taking every opportunity to portray Blacks in a negative light. It is evident in many Black children manifesting low self esteem and little if any respect for people who look like them. How else can you explain the high percentage of Black on Black crime?

When you have a bureaucratic system that has tentacles subtly supporting discrimination and racism, it is of the upmost importance for the victims to educate themselves. When they are educated and fully understand the system, they are in a better position to lift themselves up and fight this oppressive system.

One cannot help but respect Blacks when you truly look at their history. When you look at their resilience and perseverance through centuries of oppression here in America and in colonized African countries, one must acknowledge their strength and determination. Blacks are not behind politically or economically because they are lazy and unmotivated. You have a system that has done everything possible to deter the progress of African Americans. But the truth of the matter is, try as you must—you cannot hide the brilliance of a star.

People, who are truly interested in learning about Blacks as a whole, are amazed with the contributions Blacks have made locally, statewide, nationally, and universally. Blacks’ contributions to society should be ingrained in everyday study and not condensed in a month. However, we do not live in a perfect world, legitimately concerned with truth, justice, and equality for all.

Every American family should make a conscious effort, especially this month, and sit down with their children and learn about a beautiful and productive people. Take part in the cultural activities taking place this month, experiencing food, song, dance, education, and spiritual enlightenment through drums. Let’s all work together to erase this negative image so many have of African Americans.

The truth is that Black people have always been a contributing force since the beginning of time and should be second to none, when it comes to being acknowledged for their beauty, intelligence, and productivity.

Unfortunately, many public school systems will dilute Black history or not teach it at all to keep White children from feeling uncomfortable about the role their ancestors, grandparents, and parents played in the dehumanization and cruel treatment of African Americans and other people of color.

Learning about Black history is a win for all, because then the world as a whole will have a better appreciation for Blacks and other people of color as respectable and honorable human beings with immeasurable talents and resources.