This article is focusing on Africans Americans who made accomplishments. February 1976 is when Black History Month went from celebrated from a week to being celebrated the entire month. This month is a annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their role in U.S. history.
I interviewed my History teacher, Mr.Bradely a current teacher at Palmetto High School. I asked Mr.Bradely how does he feel about Black History Month and what does he know about the civil rights movement. Mr.Bradely stated, “I honestly have mixed beliefs about this month as Black History Month. On one hand I understand its value. The content discussed during this month often gets lost in the yearly content of each class. As teachers, it is useful to have an entire month to devote to the accomplishments of so many African Americans. It allows us to present the accomplishments without the ‘whitewashing’ that occurs daily. It also forces those who have a racial bias to present the accomplishments of African Americans. On the other hand, I have issues with the month. The goal of the Civil Rights movement was Equality, in all things. I fear that “Black History Month” has the opposite affect. Now I will admit that this fear of mine might be exaggerated. However, I do believe that teaching African American History separate from American History will cause, at least unconsciously, Americans to see a distinction or division between American and African American. This division, however conscious, could lead to further divisions in Society. Such divisions, if they were to manifest, could undermine all the work of Dr. King and the entire Civil Rights Movement.”
Mr.Freeman is a current math teacher at Palmetto High School. I was able to interview him he stated, “History helps us understand people and societies as well as aide our understanding of societal change and how the society we live in came to be. Unfortunately, many U.S. history books choose to limit the quantity and quality of historical accomplishments by African Americans. An incomplete history of the society one lives in can limit understanding of how our society came to be. Black history month helps fill in some of these gaps left by many U.S. history books. Knowledge of accomplishments and the impact of predecessors who look like you are priceless. Pride, confidence, and a belief that you truly belong to this society we call America are just a few benefits fostered by Black History month. I believe we can continue Dr. King’s message of inclusion and equality, by not taking for granted the many opportunities afforded us because of the sacrifices made by many Black Americans like Dr. King. African Americans are still working towards closing the equality gap. The only way that we can truly gain equality is through education. Our study of Black history will remind us of what our ancestors already knew. Knowledge is power. Carry this understanding with you everywhere you go, and don’t hesitate to share with friends, family and even foe. Most importantly, one day when you are a mother, educate your child about the complete American history and place education and learning as priority number one.”
I interviewed my former teacher Ms.Carnes, which is a current English teacher at Palmetto High School. Ms.Carnes was asked what are your thoughts on Black History Month and what does it mean to you to be free. She simply stated, “I think it is great for our country to observe Black History Month because all people need to know that black people have made great contributions in all aspects in the development/success in all of our lives here in the United States of America. Having equality and enjoying all the freedoms that everyone else has here in the United States of America, that is what being free means to me!”
I got to interview a current student at Palmetto High School Amani Dozier, she stated, “Black History Month means a lot to me. Something I have learned about this particular month is that the colors each stand for something. The red stands for the blood that unites the Africans, the gold is the wealth and the natural beauty, and the green is for the green land of Africa. I look up to Harriet Tubman because she inspires me in a way to stand my ground and stand up for those around me. I am black and I am proud.”
I interviewed Courtney Anderson a current student at Palmetto High School. Courtney kept a very brief conversation about Black History and she said, “Black History Month is an important month to majority of African Americans. I feel as it should last longer than a month. Our ancestors went through a hard times but if a month all we get we should live it up to the fullest. I learned that people fought for us, meaning the way we live today is because of them. Yes, there is some racism as of today, it is not our fault nor their fault it is just how their parents raised them. I am grateful for my African American family. I love the culture, food and creativity. I am truly proud to be Black.”
Mr.Simmons our amazing assistant principal stated, “Education is key: We need to continue educating ourselves and others, not only during “Black History Month”, but Infuse Black history into the curriculum year-round. I was lucky enough that my parents taught me about marches and firehoses in Alabama, but I had to teach myself about the acts of terrorism committed against Black people in Rosewood, Florida; Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Wilmington, North Carolina. We are not being taught about the true history in this country, therefore I feel we are more than likely to repeat those same mistakes. It is vitally important that we continue and build upon Mr. King’s dream. Education is Power!!! Teach students about important Black figures—especially local ones: Teaching about Obama and King is a good start, but you can introduce students to hidden figures as you work through your content during the school year.(So many more important figures). Mana Musa was one of the richest people in the world that was from Africa. The list goes on…”
I think it is totally about understanding that all those people before my generation went through a massive amount of struggle and sacrifice and because of that I am beyond grateful for my rights today.