For hundreds of years in the US, people have been taught about the history of white people, but no one thought about teaching about African American history until 1920, when Carter G. Woodson, son of former slaves and the second African American graduate from Harvard, founded Black History Month.
African American history has more content than most people think. A lot of important events, like how they fought for many years against slavery and then discrimination, and through the law, were never taught to white people. When Woodson founded Black History Month, it was more for the African American population. His plan was to teach African American people their history, but also to show the white population that African Americans are humans too. Through the years, this history became more important for the white population as well. Finally in 1976, president Gerald R. Ford, made the US really recognize this event. February is about achievements made by black Americans and a time to recognize “the central role that African-Americans have played in every aspect of American life,” Barack Obama said in a speech about black history month.
Another point of view against this month is the separation. Black history is American history and should be taught as the history of white people, Morgan Freeman said in a 2005 interview about Black History Month. “To get rid of racism, we have to stop speak about it.” This point of view shows that not all African Americans agree with this month. The same is written in an article by “The Mainstream”, a popular news website. “Others say devoting one month to a specific race just creates more segregation and bias.”
This month is supposed to show that African American people’s history is just as important as that of white people. African Americans are a part of this country. And perhaps it would be better if their history was handled like American history and not as something separate and special.
Till Hambörger, Staff Writer
Junior Till Hambörger is a staff writer for the 2014-2015 Colonel. He is a foreign exchange student from Germany.