With Black History Month’s conclusion, I feel it is important to reflect on its impact. It should not just be viewed as important for African Americans. No, it should be considered important to all Americans. Black History Month is a time when African Americans are recognized for their numerous accomplishments and contributions to American society. The United States as we know it would have never been realized without African Americans.
African Americans helped build this country. We built the White House, created the pacemaker, performed the first successful open heart surgery; we are also inventors of many day to day objects, such as, America’s first clock, automatic elevator doors, blood banks, the gas mask, ice cream, modern toilets, potato chips, traffic lights and the process of manufacturing carbons, which improved the method for production of carbon filaments used in the lightbulbs. The list goes on and on.
Many objects we use and love were invented by African Americans and the primary purpose of Black History Month is to bring attention to the accomplishments and contributions of black men and women. Therefore, Americans can learn to love and appreciate one another’s cultures.
Black History Month was created by Carter G. Woodson. It was originally known as “Negro Week” and was chosen on the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.
Woodson also invented “Negro Week” because he noticed that black people were underrepresented in the books and conversations that shaped the study of American society. “If a race has no history, it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world and it stands in danger of being exterminated,” Woodson said.
Carter G. Woodson invented “Negro Week” to promote achievements by black Americans and other people of African descent.
The civil rights movement and a growing awareness of black identity helped Negro Week evolve into Black History Month in many black communities. By 1976, President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month, as he called on the public “to seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”
In contemporary times, we still tend to take Black History Month for granted. We question why Black History Month even exists, and many people just want it to end; however, this Black History Month let us be different. Let us be grateful for those wonderful black men and women who sacrificed so much for us. Let us give them praise for their contributions and accomplishments to American society. Let us teach their historical events that transpired in the past; lastly, let us not just celebrate black history for a month. Let’s celebrate and appreciate black history everyday because without it we may not be here.