Black History Month: Why everyone should educate themselves

Black History Month is a celebration during the month of February to celebrate Black Pioneers in History. It bothers me that people only seem to think that Black History Month pertains to black people. I love History of all kinds, I don’t care what “type” I am supposed to study. History has built this country and the people in it. Black History is especially important as it made a large impact on so many lives.

Clearly I am not black. I do not understand the plight that blacks in America have to deal with. In 2016 it disgusts me that there is a plight. My good friend  Sara has told me horror stories about how she has been treated. When did we go back to 1960? To treat someone different from you with disrespect is just disgusting. I teach my children that we are all the same on the inside and God has made a rainbow of people to keep the world interesting.

I think it is important to educate our children about all History. Without History we would never be the nation we are today. Yes, some of that history has a sad ending, but there are so many blacks who have amazing stories and it should be shared, the good and the bad.

Every child should know who Frederick Douglass is and the sacrifices he made for blacks to make them equals in society and abolish slavery. Frederick went from a slave to an abolitionist, during this time in our country that was unheard of. Just imagine how much your children would learn from a man who refused to give up and make a change for the better.

Frederick Douglas
Frederick Douglas

Harriett Tubman is one of the most amazing women in History.  She dedicated herself to the liberation and freedom of her people from the tyranny that was slavery, putting her own life on the line in order to do it. Running the Underground Railroad to free slaves, she believed passionately that freed slaves should have a right to be properly educated and alongside everything else campaigned for this too.

In an interview from around this time she was quoted as saying the following: “The Lord who told me to take care of my people meant me to do it for as long as I live and so I do what he told me to do”.

She was also a pioneer for the suffragette and black women’s right to vote. She was a remarkable woman! Every woman should be as bold as she was.

harriet-tubman_s640x780

 

Here are many pioneers that have paved the way for blacks in sports, pop culture and music:

Matt Baker is often considered the first known successful African-American artist in the comic-book industry. Baker was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2009, leaving behind a legacy that should prove to be a model for young Black artists following in his path.

Charlie Sifford was a pioneer in the world of golf, helping to dismantle the “Caucasian-only clause” and opened the game of golf to generations of Black golfers.

More than just a celebrated athlete, Jesse Owens took his country on his shoulders and shocked the world winning four gold medal in the 1939 Berlin Olympic Games.

Wendell Scott was a pioneer in the sport of auto racing as the first Black full-time driver on the NASCAR circuit. Acting as a driver and his own mechanic he gained the admiration of fans and fellow drivers through his grit and determination to be successful in a sport deeply entrenched in the Jim Crow south.

Josephine Baker is a name that is synonymous with the 1920s cultural high life. She lived in a time of immense social, political and cultural change and was at the forefront of the “jazz baby” movement in the US and Europe, with her immensely colorful performances, provocative costumes and very distinctive singing voice.

 

My point is that you should educate yourself and your children on ALL history. Don’t disregard it because you feel it may not pertain to you. Knowledge is power. I have barely scratched the surface on all of the amazing historical events lead by blacks in America.

 

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