As we reach the half way point of February I'm proud to say that I, as well as many other Americans, have been fully engaged in celebrating BLACK HISTORY. However, in 2011 some people are starting to wonder, "Is their STILL a need for a designated month to celebrate Black History?" I personally believe there is still definitely a need for BHM and here are a few reasons why:
1) WE ALL SHOULD CELEBRATE BLACK HISTORY MONTH BECAUSE...Africans have been calling America home for almost as long as the Europeans. Of course America rightfully belongs to the Indians, but aside from the natives, just as surely as Caucasians recognize themselves as Americans, so too are we and we should get our fair recognition as such. Now some people might argue that if you have a Black History Month then it's only fair to have an Hispanic History Month, a Polish History Month etc etc. and that topic is debatable, however I disagree. Unlike those other respective nationalities, we didn't migrate to America for Religious freedom and new opportunities. African slaves were forced to come to the states against our own free will (in most cases).
2) WE ALL SHOULD CELEBRATE BLACK HISTORY MONTH BECAUSE...So much significant Black History is left out of the history books of public schools that if there were no Black History Month, our accomplishments would likely go unrecognized and uncelebrated in the United States. Personally, when I think back to when I was in middle/high school, I vaguely remember discussing slavery but definitely remember talking about Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks & the Civil Rights movement. But what about life before the Equal Rights Movement or even before we were sold to the Europeans? What were we doing in Africa before we came to America? We learn about what the Europeans were doing before they sailed to America, why not our ancestors as well. A lot of history books would lead one to believe that we lived savagely and uncivilized in Africa, but that is FAR from the truth.
And what about the Atlantic Slave Trade? Why do we learn every single detail about Hitler, Anne Frank and the Holocaust but the slave trade is barely mentioned in our history lessons? The fact of the matter is, an estimated 5-6 Million Jews dies during the Holocaust....However according to various Historians, estimations ranging from 30-50 million and as high as 150-210 MILLION African slaves died in the 300+ years of the Middle Passage. The Slave Trade lasted for well over 300 years, each ship held 300-500 Slaves stacked on top of each other, and it took approximately 90 days to travel to America, which lead to an approximate 30% death rate on EACH TRIP.
3) WE ALL SHOULD CELEBRATE BLACK HISTORY MONTH BECAUSE...Quite frankly, WE BUILT THIS COUNTRY!!! Whether it was willingly or forcefully, we planted the crops, laid the steel, hammered the nails AND even created some of the most brilliant inventions in which we rely heavily on on a daily basis. Without Black History Month most of us would not know the names of Benjamin Banneker, Dr. Charles Drew, Otis Boykin, or George Alcorn (to name a few). We've done more than just fight for Civil Rights and equality, we've contributed significantly to the betterment of the United States of America and have fought on the front line to keep this country free and make it the GREAT country it is.