Black History Month has not been talked about nearly as much as it should be. Black History Month should also be integrated into school’s classes more often.
One of the reasons Black History Month is not celebrated as much as it should be is because it takes place during February… the shortest month. Why should Drug Awareness Month have 30 days and Black HIstory Month only 29? Black History could be more celebrated if it were not one month, but all year or even just two months.
When one thinks of Black History Month, one thinks of the same five historical black people: Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Jackie Robinson, and Rosa Parks. But, then all the other black people who did amazing things are never mentioned like Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler, Irene Morgan Kirkaldy and Shirley Chisholm.
Some schools, like El Camino, will have in their announcements every morning, during Black History Month, spotlighting a different black hero each day. And back in elementary school students may have even learned and read about Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks while they learned about the civil rights movement. But, all of this only lasts for a single month, while throughout history classes white historical heroes are constantly talked about.
There are plenty ways for teachers to incorporate black history into their classes. One way would be for middle school world history teacher to not only teach the usual China, India, Greece and Mesopotamia but also include African history.
Another way teachers can incorporate black history into their schedules, is for teachers in English classes to teach books involving black history or famous events in black history. In ninth grade teachers teach books like “Romeo and Juliet” and “Great Expectations” when they could be teaching books like “I Know Why the Caged Birds Sing” or “Their Eyes were Watching God.” If students were to not only celebrate black history one month a year, then they would become more informed and stop racism against black people.
Black History month should not be treated like a special once a year event, students should be used to learning about this important part to America’s history. If in a history class students learned the history of America through the eyes of someone who was not a white man with freedom, students perception may change. The history books tell the stories through the eyes of privileged white men and their journals, and students rarely learn how terrible the white people treated not only blacks but people of other races such as the Native Americans. Teachers do not need to shield students from the horrors the white people caused innocent people of different races.
A fun way for schools to teach students about black history is by showing a movie in a classroom on a loop throughout certain days. This movie would be open for students to watch and become enlightened about early and modern black history. Nelson Mandela once said, “If you want the cooperation of humans around you, you must make them feel they are important – and you do that by being genuine and humble.”