Happy Black History Month to my American Brothers and Sisters!
Now I have – and always will be – of the strong belief that black history month should be celebrated and taught throughout the year. To assign only one month a year to a race of people is almost insulting. I think this view is best expressed by the actor Morgan Freeman, who said ‘I don’t want a black history month. Black history is American history.’
However, if black history month in America is anything like the black history month in the UK (we ‘celebrate’ it in October), education on the subject is near enough non-existent. I would love to share my knowledge and personal research on black history, however it seems there is never enough free curriculum time to fit such important information in. Interestingly, I brought this subject up to a group of 15 year olds that I teach and a large amount of them didn’t even know it existed!
It is for this reason that I feel we must take this opportunity to educate each other. Black history effects us each and every day; black people throughout history fought for the right for people of colour to be treated as equals. We have a long way to go, however, knowledge makes us stronger, and in the words of Marcus Garvey ‘a people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.’
Therefore, in the month of February, I will be posting quotes by influential black leaders, scholars, activists and artists each day in the hope that at least one person does their own research and takes pride in their history. What has been enlightening so far is how relevant each of these quotes have been, especially in light of recent events in America such as in Ferguson.
I will also be sharing my favourite poems which I feel best highlight the black/mixed race experience. Keep an eye out for this project on both my blog and on my instagram, and if you wish to contribute in any way, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Have an amazing February!