Black History Month Celebration
Sara Reid, Special to The Press
Posted: Thursday, February 25, 2010 11:50 am
To celebrate Black History Month is to celebrate a large part of American History.
On Monday afternoon in a special program acknowledging February as Black History Month, Dr. Frank Black addressed a group at the Martin Senior Adults Center and expressed his opinion on why Black History Month should continue to be recognized.
Black shared that in recent years, many advocates of Black History Month have surfaced, but just as many people have expressed interest in stopping the recognition of it.
“America needs to acknowledge that African-American history is American history and its importance as a knowledge base for all citizens,” Black emphasized.
“Until that happens, we don’t need to end it. It would be an act of cultural suicide for African-Americans.”
As his reasons for not ending the celebration of Black History Month, Black state that to be ethnically different in this country remains a problem, many Black Americans think history doesn’t adequately acknowledge Black history in U.S. history and the states haven’t moved aggressively to properly include Black history in American history.
The observance of Black History Month began in 1926 with the work of Dr. Carter G. Woodson. Originally, it began as Negro History Week before expanding to fill the month of February.
The reason it was chosen for the year’s shortest month was not because of February’s being the shortest month, but because the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass fall within the month.
“In keeping the celebration of Black History Month, it helps solidify and build on racial gains, helps rebutt inaccurate and hateful stereotypes and helps us to fight for a Black future,” Black remarked.
“We need to let our children, black and white, know about black history,” Col. Bob Smith added.
In addition to Black’s speech, Smith led the group in song and poet Patricia McDonald quoted the James Weldon Johnson sermon, “God’s Creation.”