The DC Voice

Is Black History Month Still Appreciated or Declining in American Value?

From the recent Kente cloth adorn along the shoulders and neck of Congressional Black Caucus Members during the State of the Union address.  To the discover that Britons may have been black 10,000 years ago.  Is #BlackHistoryMonth still appreciated in America or does it no longer hold its value?

Just think for a moment.  How would Carter G. Woodson feel to learn that his dedicated studies towards preserving a culture of people; whom have contributed to the fabric of this great nation has been giving the extended honor of a hash tag?  Now let’s celebrate #BlackHistoryMonth.  It will be as instant as a Google doodle with a little hopeful intelligent fact.

Where is the real honor with giving much more recognition than a generated hash tag to celebrate Black History month?  Is the honor in the same commercial sound bites that haven’t had a fresh voice over in the last 20 years?  Or is the honor in the recent tweet by the NAACP “Mae Carol Jemison is an American engineer, physician and NASA astronaut.  She became the first African American woman to travel in space when she went into orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor on September 12, 1992,” #MakeHistory #BlackHistoryMonth.  This is a much better phrase along with distribution method to get a few facts out there to the public.  Perhaps some effort is better than know effort at all.  Considering how these trends come and go, Black History Month hash tag is sure on the decline these days.

Why do we even recognize Black History Month in the first place?  Possibly because a great American writer with a focus on blacks in America wanted the contributions of the people to be recognized and celebrate much more than their tribulations; when they were transported on slave ships to the “New World.”  So, in 1926, Carter G.  Woodson established Negro History Week.  Before Negro History Week, in 1915 he founded the Association for Study of Negro Life and History to encourage scholars to engage in the intensive study of the black past.  Prior to this work, the field had been largely neglected or distorted by the hands of historians who accepted the traditionally biased picture of blacks in American and world affairs, according to Britannica.

How is it that blacks are always asked to attend an assembly gathering, but barely get any recognition?  This was quite evident at the recent Grammy awards during Kendrick Lamar acceptance speech.  He had to ask the audience to “give it up for Hip Hop.”  In a different setting, many are getting ready to gather at the movie theaters to see Black Panther, starring an all-black cast.  There is so much excitement about the movie during the month of Black History, one young lady has a tweet which has amassed 125,000 views of her dancing “showing up to see the movie Black Panther like this! – followed by a fist pump emoji and video camera emoji #ImBlackandImproud #BlackHistoryMonth.”

Maybe this is the way the culture celebrates now.  Just with a little-known doodle fact, a few hash tags by civil rights organizations, along with a dance for a movie during the month of Black History.  Well there are about twenty days or so remaining.  Hopefully someone will keep the honor alive beyond a hash tag.  Senator Tim Scott did post a rare Black History Month fact tweet “Today is the 50th anniversary of the Orangebury Massacre – a tragic and pivotal day in the fight for civil rights in South Carolina #BlackHistoryMonth.”

Mindy Hill

Mindy Hill

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