When February rolls around most people think the month of romance, but Valentine’s isn’t the only thing we should celebrate this month. It’s Black History Month, also known as African American History. This month pays tribute to the generation of African Americans that overcame adversities like discrimination, segregation, and cultural appropriation in order to pave the way for future generations to build and grow from their hardships.
Carter G. Woodson, American historian and journalist, once said back in 1926 when he first declared that there is to be Black History Week, “If a race has no history, if it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated.”
What started out as just a week-long celebration turned into a whole month with black educators at Kent State University celebrating Feb. 28, 1970. But why is celebrating Black History Month so important? Wesleyan and Buckhannon residents had the following to say.
“The older I get the more I realize that this celebration isn’t just for Black people, it’s for white people” says Behana Scott, Wesleyan graduate. “Black people and black communities celebrate blackness and black history every month of the year. And it’s important for white people of all ages to take time to learn something about a group other than themselves.”
Buckhannon resident Patience Claypool says, “It’s a great thing to celebrate how far you’ve come because you should be able to do anything you want to do.”
Amina Channel, pharmacy student at WVU, says, “We shouldn’t celebrate black history month; rather we should be fighting to incorporate black history into our everyday history books. Those who precede us are worth more than a month of our time.”
River Hedrick, a Maryland resident, stated that, “A culture that brought so much to so many should never be considered ‘common’. It highlights all the gifts and sacrifices black and African -Americans have brought to this country.”
There are handfuls of great reasons that celebrating Black History is a very important and meaningful month.
This year, this month, and every time you can celebrate and educate yourself, family, friends and children about African-American history that’s not being taught in a history book you have greater insights into history and those accomplished it.