Is it time to end Black History Month?

That’s the question asked in an Associated Press story released today.

Stephen Donovan, a 41-year-old lawyer quoted in the article, argues that President Barack Obama’s election shows that “African-American history is American history and should be remembered and recognized every day of the year.”

And Yemesi Oyeniyi, a 40-year-old stay-at-home mother, said that she feels Black History Month is only for blacks and therefore fails to educate others about African-American culture.

Honestly, I’m not sure how I feel about this.

Donovan and Oyeniyi make excellent points and I often wonder how much good Black History Month actually does in educating white America about black culture. But I also wonder if there’s a chance that African-American history could be pushed to the back burner without Black History Month.

What do you think?

*Shout out to mErCh for the tip.

7 Comments

  1. Playa, please.

    I’m really hating how society is saying ‘we have a black president, the struggle is over.’

    Yes, black history month has become an afterthought – it’s just a time to memorize the “I Have A Dream” speech – but that’s the fault of educators, that doesn’t mean it’s not relevant anymore.

    Actually, we should be putting MORE emphasis on black history, to show the great strides blacks have made and show just how monumental Obama’s victory was.

    The kids need to know, and we need to be reminded, just how far black folks have come.

  2. I agree that making Black History Month more interesting and effective is a much better solution than just ditching it. I also agree that it’s silly to think that the struggle is over just because we have a black president, but I’m not sure that’s what the people in this article are arguing, though it may come off that way. I think they’re just saying that having Black History Month results in a lot of educators only focusing on black history and culture during that month. I think, and I believe this is the point they were trying to make also, the focus should be on encouraging educators to incorporate black history and culture into lessons year-round.

  3. - the focus should be on encouraging educators to incorporate black history and culture into lessons year-round.

    Yep, I agree. But until the day that it’s incorporated year-round, black history month has a place.

    It’s better than nothing.

  4. True that. But it really needs to get better. I remember some years we wouldn’t even memorize MLK’s speech, we’d just color a picture of him.

  5. Yeah, it certainly needs to be upgraded. I used to get tired of hearing about the same old people.

    Yeah, Mary McLeod Bethune n’ dem were cool, but you’d think black folks haven’t done anything since the 1950s.

  6. I agree with you both that the struggle isn’t over. But I just don’t think Black History Month makes an impact like it should. I mean I actually forget its Black History Month until I see one of those McDonalds “moment in black history” commercials. I honestly think the purpose of black history month is slowly fading away and will continue to do so. And I wonder is this because black history is now more a part of American history or if people just can careless.

  7. We still need Black History Month to educate others about a lesser-known history. I think our country is on its way toward not needing another racial division, but we most certainly aren’t there yet. Until then, we’ll need to keep Black History Month and try to raise our children with an inclusive history.

    As for vamping up education tactics, Gilbert King is writing a book on Thurgood Marshall’s groundbreaking efforts in American politics. He has created a short video to tie in his research with Barack Obama’s inauguration, making Black History relevant to every American. You can check out the video here, and pass it along! http://theharperstudio.com/2009/01/barack-obama-on-the-shoulders-of-thurgood-marshall/

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