We Must Go Beyond Black History Month, Why?
Afternoon Thought To Digest and Provoke Thought
We Must Go Beyond Black History Month, Why?
The initial need for Negro History Week was developed because so many of our ancestors didn’t have access to the resources needed to tell the full story of the black experience. Carter G. Woodson understood that without this access our ancestors could easily develop a feeling of inferiority. Dr. Woodson knew that the majority race had no intentions of delivering a favorable history of Black Americans during a period when Jim and Jane Crow ran rampant over the rights and education of our communities nationwide. Who spoke for the Blackman in the editorial offices of textbook publishers of American History books? Who spoke for the Blackman at the major publishing houses producing narrative stories accounting Black American achievements?
In the 1970’s when Negro History Week transitioned to Black History Month still a gap existed in resources available to our black community's residents especially our youth. This situation was quite problematic. However, now the time has finally come to demand a comprehensive study of our children’s black historical experience. It must be immersed in every facet of a child’s K-12 study of American History. One month just doesn’t do any justice to the real story of our black ancestor's achievements in American history. Over the course of the past 21 months, I have done a considerable degree of reading from numerous sources related to our black historical experience. The fact that most of this information isn’t available in the lesson plan resources of our black children classroom teachers demands some explanation. It is the time that Black History Month becomes Black History Year and that historical study is specifically detailed in the K-12 social studies curriculum across the country.
The more you delve into the history of Black Americans the more impressed you are with our people's ancestral roots and ancestral strength and our capacity to overcome the challenges, obstacles, and specific agendas meant to suppress and inhibit our growth as a people. That's why it is so important at least to me that Black History is reflected on a continual basis, not just 28 days in February each year. I think if our children are given this type of instructional leadership in homes and schools. They would have a truer sense of self while understanding the power that each of them holds within themselves. They also may discover the passion needed for community social order and become less likely to victimize each other without remorse.
If we truly understand who we are then maybe then our black youth will understand that hurting each other in the final analysis hurts everyone in our community. Not only the victims of the violence are directly harmed. The victim’s immediate family is harmed maybe not physically but definitely psychologically and emotionally. The perpetrator who inflicted the harm, of course, is harmed by his actions physically, emotionally and psychologically. His immediate family is harmed and unintentionally or intentionally the entire community is directly affected negatively by that single act of violence. Now multiply the devastation caused in that single instance by the thousands of black youths involved in acts of violence. You can now understand that our urban inner-city communities cannot endure these senseless acts of violence.
We see percentages of illiteracy rates amongst our children increasing rather than decreasing. We see our black children unable to read for comprehension, our black children unable to strategically and critically analyze complex text. The pattern is clear we are losing the battle to capture our black student's interest. Personally, I think that if we allow our children to access more of the true story of the black historical experience. They may become more motivated to read informational texts. Negro History Week served its purpose as has Black History Month but now we need to amp up the availability of resources of the Black American experience. How does this work psychologically? Your ancestor's historical contributions are only worth less than 28 days a year while the majority race’s history is reflected an entire year.
Just thinking aloud this Friday afternoon.