Monday, February 28, 2011

Black History Month

I suppose I should have written about this at the beginning of the month rather than the end of it, but it’s better late than never…

I don’t like the title “Black History Month.” It makes it sound like all black people have a history and a culture that is completely independent of mainstream history. It’s as if “black history” is different than “history,” and that without a month dedicated to acknowledging it, it would go completely ignored. I hope I don’t have to explain how ridiculous that thought is.

But there isn’t really a White History Month or a Mexican History month. I think there are Black History and Black Studies classes offered at a university level, but the curricula there tend to focus more on culture than actual history. And the same with the month—it seems to me Black History Month is all about maintaining and sharing new and old traditions of black Americans, and I’m glad that opportunity for diversity and celebration is there. So why not call it Black Culture Month?

Perhaps I’m wrong though. The concern may be about focusing specifically on Black History—but that seems so broad and so… pointless. I’m not saying black Americans or black people in general have a pointless history though, on the contrary—the history and accomplishments of black Americans has been long-standing and seamlessly interwoven in all aspects of American history in general. So why do we need to separate that mutual existence? Why do we need to tear apart the multifaceted fibers of American history and focus only on one race’s progression?

I suppose there are benefits to it, but ultimately I think it just furthers a dying but still-burning notion that people of other races are to be treated as separate. Then again, I do believe Black History Month is more of a cultural celebration than a historical one… either way I think we need to rethink the title and reassess its characteristics and its importance.


  1. People are too sensetive when it comes to "racisme" and stuff like this. I've never been discriminated myself, but honestly, people just need to shut the hell up and accept each other. Whining about every little tidbit and forcing acceptation isn't going to work.

  2. If they want to make a cultural history month, it should just be cultural races involved.

  3. I just stopped by to show some support, but man, that was a really great post!

  4. i find it weird that colleges offer black studies and women studies, why not have men's studies? or even european american scholarships?