Black History Month does not diminish anyone’s culture

Diversity is this country’s greatest strength. The people who cannot recognize that feat are not deserving of a society as great as ours.

Immediately, I want to make something abundantly clear: pro-black does not mean anti-white. When Americans finally realize that the acknowledgement of another person’s greatness does not diminish their own, we will be much better off. The concept of even debating the existence of Black History Month is frankly pathetic. Throughout history, various unspeakable travesties have been committed against black people and have been simultaneously buried in the mess of American history. Black History Month provides an escape to children who have had their culture erased while the culture of others has been forcefully shoved down their throats.

As a young child, the American school system taught me the basics about black accomplishments while requiring me to learn extensive details about white accomplishments. Every year, history classes included the ritualistic, lifeless lessons about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks. Yes, they were both incredibly influential people. But, call me crazy, I think a curriculum that has time for an in-depth explanation about Napoleon Bonaparte’s French military can spend a few weeks explaining the significance of the 1873 Colfax Massacre.

The ideology that the celebration of one culture subsequently demeans or /outcasts another is unfounded and illogical.”

— Olivia Tulloch

The initial problem with the idea “Black History Month does not change anything” is the thought that it is intended to solve the past. The past is the past, the future is the future. I think we can all agree on that. However, somehow, in our uniquely American way, we disagree in the celebration of specific groups of people. The ideology that the celebration of one culture subsequently demeans or /outcasts another is unfounded and illogical.

The concept of Black History Month was founded in 1926 by a historian named Carter G. Woodson. Since 1976, every American president has designated February as Black History Month and endorsed a specific theme. February serves as a reminder of everything Black people have gone through as a collective unit. If it does not apply to you, simply move on! Just because someone else has something, does not mean you need something equivalent. 

However, somehow, the concept of reverse discrimination has still prevailed. People so delusionally believe that the celebration of race and the discrimination of race are inherently similar. The “what if the roles were reversed” argument is honestly tiring. As a black woman, I am sick of hearing “what if white people [insert absurd proposed objective here].”. You are not me. Your experiences are not my experiences. And that’s what non-black people will never be able to comprehend. 

Black History Month isn’t a simple “Black people are oppressed, let’s give them this handout” month”. It is symbolic in so many forms. It is for the girl who has to constantly correct people when they mispronounce her cultural name. It is for the boy whose dreadlocks are called unprofessional and unkept. It is for the child who doubts their greatness because of a society that perpetuates otherwise.

The creation of Black History Month is one of the few successful steps to promote Blackness across this country. Those who disagree, disapprove, or dislike the concept are simply unaware of their own societal advantages.