Celebration of Black History Month

Celebration of Black History Month

Ossien Asiedu, Author

What is Black History Month? Black History Month is a chance to understand the hidden history of America that goes  beyond stories of racism and slavery, to spot light black achievement. Before it started as Black History Month, it was first known as Negro History Week, and was created in February of 1926. Due to the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s and the growing awareness of Black identity, Negro History Week was celebrated across the country.


In 1976, the 38th president, Gerald Ford, officially acknowledged Black History Month in one of his speeches. He urged Americans to seize the chance to honor the achievements of Black Americans in every area of our history. 


The United States isn’t the only place Black History Month is celebrated. Other countries such as the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and even Ireland celebrate Black History Month in October. There are several hidden African/black figures with different cultures and history. For example, Yasuke, born in the 1550s, was a Black Samurai who served during the Sengoku Period. He was the first unknown foreigner to achieve a Samurai status, yet there isn’t much on him. Another hidden figure in African American History was Guion Bluford, the first African American to be in space. Guion Bluford made history on August 30, 1983. He flew aboard 3 additional shuttle missions, logging a total of about 688 hours in space. 


Mr. Tony, a sponsor of the Black Student Union here at Broad Run, was asked why Black History Month is important, to which he replied, “The further you get away from an event, the harder it is for you to remember, and Black History Month is a time for us to reinnervate for different generations of the history of blacks and what we’ve come through, what we’ve accomplished, so that they can remember and pass it on so it won’t be forgotten.” 


Ms. Dyer, an English teacher, made a good point about this topic. “Our country has struggled with systemic racism for hundreds of years now and it’s important for us to acknowledge the history, culture, and struggle of a group of people who have been oppressed for so long.”


Black History Month is a time where we can learn to love one another without judging skin color. This month can teach us how to look at someone not as a threat, but as a friend. We can learn a lot from others and their culture by just being nice to them. Instead of looking at someone with hate in our hearts, we should look at them with love in our hearts. Hate is a strong thing that we all struggle with, but they say love is stronger. And that is why we celebrate Black History Month.