Story by Sara Roesch / Contributing Writer
Cover photo via Barack Obama’s Twitter
After a trialing year in 2020, it is as important as ever to recognize and honor the annual celebration of Black History month.
The roots of Black History month began in 1915 when Carter G. Woodson, a Harvard doctoral graduate, was inspired by a three-week-long national celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. Thousands of people showed up in Chicago to see exhibits of Black achievements as it represented the progress that African-Americans worked hard to accomplish. After attending the celebration, Woodson set off to form the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH) and establish The Journal of Negro History in order to promote the scientific study of black life and history.
In February of 1926, Woodson announced Negro History Week in order to “create and popularize knowledge about the black past.” In the 1960’s, young, black students were becoming increasingly aware of their African roots which inspired a push towards a month-long celebration of Black history. It wasn’t until 1976 that the ASNLH officially replaced the week-long “Negro History Week” with “Black History Month” for the entire month of February.
Other countries such as Canada and the United Kingdom also observe and celebrate Black History Month every February.
Briona Carney, a MTSU freshman majoring in early childhood education, says that Black History Month is important because she believes newer generations have a lot to be thankful for when it comes to Black history. Carney participates in Black History Month by attending various events and marches while showing off her Black pride with Black history t-shirts. She suggests that others can also celebrate in February by taking the time to research Black history and/or watch movies about Black history and culture such as Harriet or The Hate You Give.
For Louis Perales, an informational system major, this national celebration is important because it reminds us of what’s possible when an entire community of people stand up together to fight for what’s right. When asked about how he thinks others should honor Black history, he responded with “remember how far Black people have come for their rights. In general, this fight should have never happened nor should it have to continue, but more people are becoming aware that racism is still an ongoing issue. #BLM”
Many people, like Morgan Walker, a junior at MTSU, also believe that Black History Month is a great time to educate the youth. Walker likes to share Black history with her Girl Scouts, along with other children and people in her community.
Black history is still ongoing. This year, we honor the passing of a few amazing Black icons who have contributed to the richness of recent Black history.
Cicely Tyson, pictured in the cover, was an award-winning Black actress who not only was a strong African-American woman off the screen but also represented strong African-American women on the screen and was admired by the thousands of people who have watched her for generations.
See also, Chadwick Boseman, an actor best known for his role in Black Panther. Boseman starred in many great films, but his role in Black Panther boosted Black pride across the nation, and he will be remembered as a gifted role model for generations to come.
Another role model Barack Obama made monumental history when he became the first African-American President. He proved to many that Black citizens can become who they aspire to be in America, despite hate or pushback.
Lastly, the passing of Kobe Bryant impacted the hearts of people globally. His groundbreaking career has led to him being popularly considered as one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Bryant will not only be written down in basketball history but Black history as well.
Black History Month is honored because Black History is America’s future.
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