The History of Black History Month


Courtesy of Google Images

Robert Viray-Edwards, ENN Staff

Black History Month, created by Carter G. Woodson who designated a time to promote and educate people about Black history and culture. It started off as “Negro History Week,” then as time went by, it soon evolved into something greater, Black History Month. In celebration of Black influences around the world, Black History Month is a month Black people can always look forward to feeling recognized and honored for their skin color.

A lingering question around is exactly how did Black History get started. Not just the month, but Black History as a whole. Some argue that it was Abraham Lincoln whenever he pronounced the Emancipation Proclamation and some argue that it started in the hands of Martin Luther King Jr. whenever he delivered his famous ‘I have a dream’ speech. For senior, Mercy Nyakundi, Black History has started long before slavery.

“I think Black History started when slavery was already pre existing. Not because of Abraham Lincoln abolished slavery or whenever Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his speech. Black people have been facing struggles for the past couple of decades and that in itself is Black history,” said Nyakundi.

So what exactly is Black History? Is it the hardships and struggles Black people had to face centuries ago and still to this day or is it the simple togetherness of a whole diaspora is what makes Black History? Black History can be a multitude of various things and it is what the beholder makes of it. There had to be years upon years of Black History being made for this month to be celebrated. For senior, Noah Obuya, Black History is what Black people as a whole had to do to get their own say in the world.

“To me, Black History is the history and significance Black people have made throughout the years. We have fought a fight to gain our own say and we are still fighting to this day. There have been many public figures making a change for Black people all around the world and us as a unity are still making a change,” said Obuya.

Black History isn’t something that could be forged by itself, it had to be created by a multitude of people. From Martin Luther King Jr. to Rosa Parks, there has been a plentiful amount of influences who have made a difference into what Black History Month is. Their impact still lingers in the air today and is taught in schools. For senior, Derrick Carey, Malcolm X is his favorite influential person who has changed the world.

“In my opinion, Malcolm X was my favorite and one of the most influential Black historical figures in recent memory. What he stood for and how he made a change was revolutionary and if he was here today, I know the fight would not stop. He was an inspiration to many and his legacy will continue to live on for years upon years,” said Carey.

Though Black History Month was created to celebrate the prevalence and journey that Black people had to go through, some say that there is still some work to do to achieve equality. With movements such as the ‘Black Lives Matter,’ that is just an example of a fight that is still not finished. Since the beginning of time, there has been a progression in equality, however there is still a sprint that needs to be done to get to the finish line. For senior, Amarachi Ekeke, Black History is still being made to this day.

“Even though us as Black people have made a progression in today’s society, there is still more progress to be made. For example, what happened with George Floyd is a prime example. Also, everything that happened with Breonna Taylor. There is a continuous fight to be fought and we have long ways to go until we can finally reach pure equality,” said Ekeke.

The importance of Black History Month can vary for many Black people around the world. It can be a treasured month for them or it could simply be another regular month, it all depends on the person. However, Black History is larger than for what it is worth. For senior, Rory Rucker, Black History Month is one of the most important things to her, every year.

“I will always look forward to February, because of Black History Month. It is a month where people of my same color can get recognized and appreciated. In my opinion, it is one of the most important events in the year,” said Rucker.

Even though Black History Month has been around for decades, it is still one of the most anticipated events annually. Every year, Black people across the world are allowed to embrace themselves and their identity through their skin color. Free from the prejudice and discrimination, Black History Month is a holiday that will be celebrated for years and years to come.