Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Black History Month

If there is one month in a year that celebrates the courage, determination, and dignity of the African people, that would be the Black History Month.  It officially commemorates the achievements, milestones, sacrifices, and history of the African diaspora.  It has been annually observed in the US and Canada in February and in the UK in October.

This event started off from the “Negro History Week” in 1926 that was an inspiration from the renowned historian and scholar Dr. Carter G. Woodson.  The weeklong celebration encouraged schools and communities in the US to organize local activities and establish functions, history clubs, and lectures to promote awareness to African American history.  The event has then evolved into a month long celebration and was later officially declared by President Gerald R. Ford as the “Black History Month” in 1976 to honor the contributions and endeavors of African Americans throughout the American history.

How is it Celebrated
What are the celebratory events and activities that make the Black History Month memorable each year?  Many events are organized across many campuses and communities all over the US, Canada, and UK to mark this event.  In the US, some of these events would include lectures & forums, days-long concerts, documentary film screenings, musical plays, African-Caribbean & hip-hop dancing, poetry, story-telling and chanting.  In the UK, it is celebrated through museum events and exhibitions, jazz and hip-hop performances and sessions, speeches and orations, and specialized tours.  In Canada, it is highlighted through banquets and dances, musical dinner performances, stage plays, movies, discussions and dialogues, spirit & wine tasting events, boot camps, quizzes, and fellowships.

Tattles behind the Black History Month
Devoting a month to celebrating black history has stirred a different connotation by some critics.  Most of the argument relies on the fact that relegating one month dedicated to Black history provokes a condescending mindset that black history is different from the American history.  Other debates rested on the assumption that the black history has gone to becoming a marketing scheme to celebrities and African goods instead of realizing the dream that it originally signified.  It has been argued too often that it has evolved into an occasion to boost multiculturalism instead of its intent to promote the history of African-Americans to this day.

I am inviting you take a stand and share your thoughts about this one event that marks your history.  How do you celebrate it in your community?  Are you equipped with the proper attire to celebrate it?  For more ideas on African-American inspirations, check also Facebook and Twitter.  


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