Black History Month

  Feb. 1, 2021, marks the jovial celebration across the country: Black History Month, also known as African American History Month. Before this month that we know today, this period of time in which we celebrate black achievement was called ‘Negro History Week’. This period of time was founded by Historians Dr. Carter Woodman and Jesse Moorland who chose to celebrate in February because of Abe Lincoln (Feb. 12) and Frederick Douglass’s birthday (Feb. 14) dates that the Black community had already been celebrating. Throughout February, we celebrate prestigious black figures who paved the way for the freedoms and equalities black people can experience today. 

Just a few of these world-changers, including Martin Luther King Jr., who was able to contribute to the gathering of thousands of people for the March on Washington to fight for employment equality and freedom, which consequently helped pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Rosa Parks showed brilliant resilience in her refusal to leave her bus seat and partook in the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Barack Obama, who was the very first person of color to serve as president of the United States. Kamala Harris, the first African-Asian and female Vice President of the U.S.. Harriet Tubman, an abolitionist, who led many slaves to freedom through the Underground Railroad, which were safehouses owned by anti-slavery activists. Jackie Robinson was the first black professional baseball player who played first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers. And so many more astounding figures and unnamed people of color that showed their strength and never backed down to secure the future of their fellow African Americans in America.

So what can we do to celebrate this incredible month and spread awareness? Get educated! Read books, short poems, watch documentaries and learn about changes these revolutionists have made in our current society. I recommend reading the poem “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou who figuratively explained the limitations colored people suffered. I also recommend watching “Selma” a truly eventful movie that relays Martin Luther King’s efforts to fight for justice and heartwarming displays of white and black people joining together as one to fight for justice. 

Join The Pacer this month by learning more about these black individuals and the history of the black people of America as a series of features that are posted weekly on a new person of color. Read more and DO more to make sure that you continue to fight against inequalities and prejudice to uphold the legacies of these distinguished individuals.