The Importance of Black History Month and Why We Should Celebrate – Everyday
Former President Barack Obama made history as the first African American U.S. President. He served two terms from 2008-2017 and ended his position on January 20, 2017.
I cannot wait until this fact is added to history books across the nation. To have been able to witness a black president in office is an accomplishment for minorities.
Americans, we have come a long way, but we still have a ways to go. We are the “United” states, not the “divided” states. We need to stop hatred, racism, sexism and come together so we can make America a united front.
As Obama stated in his farewell address –
“If you’re disappointed by your elected officials, grab a clipboard, get some signatures, and run for office yourself. Show up. Dive in. Preserve.”
Let me share a story of how I come to know the importance of Black History:
When I was in elementary school (around 8 or 9 years of age), the school’s librarian came in and spoke to our class about being apart of a “Black History Trivia Bowl” competition. Sure, we talked a little about Black History in our class, but a competition? The librarian went on to explain that the competition was setup like the “Spelling Bee.” When she said spelling bee, it left a sour taste in my mouth. Let me explain why…
I entered the school’s spelling bee competition in high hopes of winning, because, after all, I know I excelled in spelling. I was the best to do it! I got so far in the competition. If memory serves, I was 1 of 5 who was still standing while others got eliminated. At that very moment, I was feeling super confident and just knew I had this! It was my turn to return to the mic and spell the word, “Encourage.” I proudly and confidently uttered the letters, “E-N-C-O-U-R-A-G-E. Encourage.” Guess what the spelling bee announcer said? “I’m sorry, that is incorrect.” I was fueled with so much anger and confusion that I quietly walked off the stage with my head down. When I stepped into the hallway, I quickly told an administrator that I spelled the word correctly and that the announcer was wrong. The administrator assured me that she would listen back to the recording (they recorded the competition).
Now, back to the “Black History” competition – so after the librarian explained the competition in detail, I raised my hand to participate, not only to redeem myself, but to learn about the heritage, history and culture of the people who looked just like me.
I held in my hand, pages and pages of history about who invented the hot irons, stoplights, peanuts, etc. I was so happy to learn about all these great pioneers who paved the way. I studied long and hard every single day. My family helped me by quizzing me on the trivia questions.
Now, on to the good stuff.
Competition day arrives. How am I feeling? Not nervous. Not scared. Not afraid. I was feeling anxious. Here I was again confident to be standing and proudly utter what I have been studying. As time passes and I look around, there were only two competitors still standing – me and another girl. If memory serves, when the other girl answered a question incorrectly, I was then asked that same question. As I looked at my proud, hopeful, mother in the audience (who, by the way, walked to my competition in the rain because of no transportation), my head dropped as I was thinking of the correct answer to the question. It was a hard one because it involved three peoples names. I confidently raised my head and said the three names and it was that moment I was announced as the WINNER!
As I’m writing this post in a very emotional state, it reminds me of how much my mother did for me and also how much our pioneers paved the way and made so many sacrifices.
History describes Black History month as:
“Black History Month, or National African American History Month, is an annual celebration of achievements by black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in U.S. history. The event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating black history.”
I want to celebrate this month by posting a “Black History” pioneer on my social media every week. Get ready for some T-R-I-V-I-A!
Make sure you are following me on all social networks (Pinterest, too) so you can see a collection of all the people who paved the way for you…who made life easier for you. Pass this on to your kids. Let them read my post to be encouraged…to be motivated by what these great people did for us.
If you have any ideas or suggestions of who I can post about, drop a comment below and let me know.
Now that I shared what Black History means to me…what does it mean to you? Share your comments.
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