The Celebration of Black History Month

February, a month that celebrates the history of African-Americans. This month acknowledging the rolling generations of people who battled racial prejudice in order to obtain equal rights within the U.S. Racism is still prevalent in today’s society, but February is a month celebrating the victories related to black history and still recognizing those who are fighting for equal rights today. 

The originator, Carter G Woodson, was born in 1875. Woodson was dissatisfied with the lack of appreciation and credit for African-Americans. In February, 1926, Black History Month was actually referred to as Negro History Week. This was advocated in schools and organizations. Later on in 1976, this week was expanded into a month. 

Aside from the history of the month itself, many students of color at RMHS value this month deeply for similar reasons. 

“I celebrate Black History Month by educating myself on a new African American person that paved the way for African American people,” senior Yasmine Brown said.

“I celebrate mostly by watching TV or looking at social media. I look at celebrities who made a good name for us African Americans,” sophomore Jaylon Golden said.

The sponsor of RMHS’s United Young Sisters & Brothers, Nichole Anderson, had her own ways of celebrating as well.

“At RMHS, I like to have us do something with our Young Sisters & Brothers group,” Anderson said. “We’ve done everything from traveling to the DuSable Museum of African American History and having display cases that highlight African American culture. Personally, I always try to do something within my community or related to black culture.” 

There are many influencers, advocates and activists who contribute to bringing justice and equal rights to people of color. Whether they are from the past or present, they are still contributors to the fight for equality today. 

Despite the many victories, there are still many problems to be solved today in terms of representation for African Americans.

“I love the fact that we have a whole month of learning about the activists that paved the way for my fellow African Americans and I live in a diverse society, but I don’t like the fact that every year we learn and focus on a couple of the same activists,” Brown claimed. 

“With Valentine’s Day overshadowing this month, I feel like there isn’t enough remembrance for African Americans,” Golden stated.

Many people have opposing opinions on the overall recognition of this month. Often, holidays such as Valentine’s Day, despite the fact that it is only for one day, might receive more recognition. That one day grosses in 20.7 billion dollars when it comes around each year, according to the National Retail Federation. 

“We often relegate just understanding black history to just one month, when again, it could be celebrated throughout the year,” Anderson said.

Overall, the celebration of Black History Month is big, but at that same time, still part of the movement today of recognizing African Americans.