By Amber Antinora
Every year February comes and goes and every year Black History Month comes and goes, with it often without a thought. Black History Month is a time when people of all races educate and remember the rich history that is usually forgotten. We remember the millions of people that have died because of the color of their skin. But we also remember the brave men and women who have overcame the barriers set by a world that does not want them to succeed.
In February, we should educate ourselves about Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, Ella Baker and many others.
Specifically in America, African-Americans have played a huge part in our culture and our history. It is hard to find an aspect of life that was not impacted; our music, our food, our dances.
Starting with slavery, Jim Crow Laws, the formation of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Little Rock Nine, the March on Washington, the formation of the Black Panthers, Los Angeles Riots, and more recently, the Black Lives Matter movement; America’s history is littered with the good, the bad and the ugly. It is very true that history repeats itself. While there is a long battle of systematic oppression, living in ignorance of the past will not produce forward movement.
Although February is Black History Month, we should not limit educating ourselves only to February. Activist and writer Joel Christian Gill works hard to get the idea out that 28 (or 29) days is not enough. “We talk about these people, and by the time we get through with them, we don’t have a conversation about who, in the face of American racism, pulled themselves up from their bootstraps and made a way for themselves.” Considering it is a large part of our history and our everyday life, educating yourself all year round is not a bad thing.