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Why Black History Month is Awful (from a Black Person)

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The month of February is quite a gala for its 28-day run – from Punxsutawney Phil determining the length of the remaining winter, to smothering your loved ones with cards and candies on Valentine’s Day, the festivities of shortest month of the year bring an enjoyable reprieve from the hustle and bustle of January. However, there is one aspect of this month that is utterly aggravating, in all its forced political correctness and prompting of white guilt: Black History Month.

Hold your gasps and outrage – I am in no way implying that black people should not be seen and recognized and learned about. In fact, I am implying the opposite . Black History Month is a pity party instituted by white men, so that they can safely say they aren’t racist and that they care about black people for 28 days of the year. The same stories from black heroes like Martin Luther King, Jr., Jackie Robinson, Rosa Parks, and more recently, Barack Obama, are read at lightning speed and then promptly forgotten about until next year. No one gains anything from them because they’re forced upon the public instead of gradually taught in appropriate detail, like actual history should be. History classes glaze over slavery and spend about thirty minutes discussing the iconic Civil Rights Movement of the 60s – though perhaps they spent a few minutes more this year, being that the legislation brought about from 14 years of fighting for basic human equality.

The message isn’t that black excellence shouldn’t be a discussion at all, but that it’s not enough of one.

Children don’t learn anything about Toussaint L’Ouverture, a military genius who spearheaded the Haitian Revolution and dismantled the imperialism of colonial France, nor do they know anything about King Kamehameha I, the founder and first ruler of pre-American Hawaii. Tragically, the future of this great nation is told absolutely nothing in favor of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson; the mathematicians behind NASA’s first successful space missions.

Instead, they are fed watered-down bits and pieces concerning “popular” stories surrounding black history, and are led to believe that this is all black people have contributed to American history. Hardly any are aware of the real story of Martin Luther King, Jr., as he began to realize that if the black population truly joined together, the force they could produce would be enough to break white supremacy with due time, or the story of Frederick Douglass, who physically fought for his freedom from his own slavemaster and escaped to be one of the greatest American authors of all time.

Not even the economic power brought about by their forced servitude is credited to their backbreaking work, but the supposed ‘skill’ of their tyrannical masters. The cotton gin, a revolutionary device which hastened production of the valuable cash-crop, was invented by a slave whose blueprint was robbed of him and patented by a man of lesser pigment. Think about it – why would Eli Whitney, a white man who hasn’t worked one day in the relentless fields, let alone spent more than ten minutes in the sweltering sun of the deep south – invent a contraption to make the work of slaves easier ? If you research this, you’ll quickly find that most sources only credit Whitney with patenting the machinery. Never is it claimed that he’s invented it.

Black history is ancient, modern and contemporary. It is a deeply-rooted and ongoing force that is ignored in favor of an American lie. Instead of “awarding” the black community the shortest month of the year as their own (and shallowly addressing their history during said month, to throw salt in ancient wounds), the country should work towards formally implementing black history in its education system. Most black children don’t learn about their history in depth until college and take an officially segregated course in afrocentric studies – but haven’t you ever noticed that there’s no classes solely dedicated to white achievements?

Oh, right. Because they all are.

It is an immense disservice to erase all that blacks have done for the great nation, spanning from sea to shining sea. Perhaps it wasn’t enough to rob this country from its natives, but apparently anyone lacking in light skin isn’t relevant until Feb. 1st, and barely then.

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