When did Black History Month start and why is it so important?
Every February this question gets asked a lot on social media. The majority may be asking purely to start an argument. But I genuinely believe that some people may be confused and are looking for an answer.
After all, if we really want equality for all why then do they also tell us to celebrate a whole month dedicated to only Black inventors, pioneers and heroes? Is that also a form of discrimination? Even my daughter Jayda curiously asked me why we get a special month.
My response: No, it’s not. The reason why we give Black history such a prominence in February is because for centuries, African-American achievements have been excluded from schools and wider society.
As most schools focus on the traditional achievements of white figures, the contributions made by African-Americans are often overlooked. Or sometimes credited to their white counterparts. That’s why it’s so important that we give special attention to the achievements of Black people and our history in February. To remember–or learn that people of color have also helped make this country so great.
When I told Jayda this she beamed with pride and asked a followup question “So people get to celebrate US?” Yes baby girl, we do!
Black History is American History
Black History Month is a platform for education and it should ideally be filed under ‘history’. But for now, it has four weeks every year.
If we want to create a society where all Black children feel as represented as white children–a place where they feel that they belong–I think this month is an important time to discuss, reflect, and acknowledge the truths of history that are often overlooked. But to also keep the conversations going all year. And to remember to include these new things we learn in our regular teachings.
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while (or even if you’re new, Hi! Welcome!), you might know that diversity and inclusion are important topics for me. Not just because my children are biracial, but because I believe that talking about race and the differences that make us unique. Especially talking with our children, help us become more empathetic and understanding of others.
That’s why I put together some of my very favorite diversity and inclusion blogs that I’ve written in the past. So you’ll have some great resources at the tips of your fingers this month if you want to read, learn, and discuss these topics with your family or friends.
Whether you decide to add some new books to your home library from my diversity and inclusion collection. Or if one of my blogs spark a conversation over dinner, I hope you find these topics helpful and insightful. And as always, feel free to message me on Instagram if you have any questions. I would love to hear from you and hear your thoughts on Black History Month and also race and diversity in general.
Looking for some thought-provoking blogs to check out this Month? Take a look at my collection below!
Note: these are not all-encompassing blogs about Black history. But a look back at some of the experiences I’ve shared in this space as a Black woman raising children in America.
Here are My Most Eye-Opening Posts About Race and Racism
“This is our shot!!” I told my sister. Rooting for Rachel was like rooting for the Chicago Cubs pre-2016.
Black girls just don’t make it far on this show. They’re the underdog on this bizarre reality show that we just can’t turn away from. In the 20-something seasons of this show they’ve never had a black lead. Hello! Black women want to find love too! (Let’s ignore the terrible marriage success rate of the show for the sake of this post).
There is nothing wrong with getting a haircut, or new do that makes you feel beautiful, but I’ve realized it’s so important to feel comfortable in your own skin before you try to change yourself. At least, that’s how I’ve grown to feel now that I have a daughter with beautiful curly locks of her own.
It’s my job to build her up, tell her how beautiful she is and help build her up. This fall she starts school, and I want her to be well-armed with confidence.
Our little family is sprightly, loves adventure and is sometimes obnoxious. But we are a family. Legally. And a little more than 50 years ago that would not have been the case.
In 2017 it’s hard to imagine our family being seen as anything but normal. But less than 50 years ago, our marriage would have been illegal in 16 states. Not just frowned upon, not just shunned… ILLEGAL.
It's so important that our children see the world as the beautiful diverse place that it is. Having a wide selection of diverse children's books to read over and over again is one way we do that. These are our absolute favorites that I recommend.
I'm a former journalist, and lifelong creator striving to make the world a better place. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day by cherishing our individuality and celebrating our differences.
I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.