Black History should be celebrated year round

A check of most history textbooks reveals who has been most valued in our history: white men’s names cover the pages. Sure, a name drop of a prominent African American might appear, but only for a page or two. Starting on Feb. 1, Black History Month is a time to recognize who has been left out of history. The only problem is, we should be recognizing all people and all cultures year round. 

“I have always believed that Black History should extend past February,” Peet Junior High sophomore Ahmad Madlock said. “Our people didn’t just do things worth celebrating in February, yet America only seems to celebrate us in said month,” he said. 

Black History Month should not only teach students about the terrible legacy of slavery, but also about black citizens who have made strides in disciplines and fields of the world. For example, black composer W.C. Handy invented the musical genre of the blues. Lorraine Hansberry was the first black playwright to have her work staged on Broadway with “A Raisin In The Sun.” Kelvin Atkinson was the first openly gay black man to serve in the Nevada’s state legislature. 

As a black student, Madlock said that the education of Black History Month should be taught in schools more frequently. 

“There is no reason that the Civil Rights Movement and slavery should be the only things talked about in education when it comes to black people,” Madlock said.

Recently, prominent movements like #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter have been in the headlines of news stations and social media. These movements further prove that if we openly talk, learn, and respect each other — all skin tones, cultures, backgrounds, history, and language — we can appreciate the diversity of our population and make that a strength. Push yourself to talk to someone who is not like you and see what you can learn. Keep doing that all year round.

Area Black History Month Events

Visit African American Museum of Iowa in Cedar Rapids

Feb 23: Ladysmith Black Mambazo, at Gallagher-Bluedorn Center of Performing Arts Center

Feb 27, 28: I Have a Dream, at Gallagher-Bluedorn Center of Performing Arts Center

Hi-Line Online


Check out this week’s episode for another feature of on this important month. Also, check out this story on the efforts to celebrate this month at Peet Junior High.

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