At the Crossroads of Freedom and Equality Essay

617 Words Feb 23rd, 2014 3 Pages
At the Crossroads of Freedom and Equality
By Henry Ayala
Today, I’m going to write about why we emphasize the learning of Black history during Black History Month and the argument against “Black History is American history”. It is an argument well said in recent times, but in my humble opinion people are viewing it from the wrong perspective. What I want you to gain from this essay is a changed perspective from Black History Month to what it actually is, Black Awareness Month.
Prior to 1926, most people learned very little about the contributions of black people in American history. We learned about slavery, sure, and the underground rail road, but not so much about a broad range of important black people and their achievements and
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You can view this in the context of other remedial efforts such as "proud to be black" and "black is beautiful" messaging efforts and memes. These kinds of efforts were all a part of a larger movement to help black people stop believing the negative image of themselves placed there by their historical abusers.
We all understand the concept of inertia. Things want to stay like they are and resist movement from an established trajectory. So if you want to get something moving or alter its trajectory, you have to apply some kind of force. It won't just change on its own. You have to take some kind of action. In regard to the narrative of American history, some kind of action was needed to set things right. Negro history week and later Black History Month was such an action.
At some point we'll reach a point where the history books are fully populated with all of the important contributions of all groups of people. And in the case of black people, the same American history that everyone learns 12 months a year will fully incorporate those contributions in an integrated way, absent the historical bias that previously caused them to be overlooked or ignored. At that point there won't be any need for special focus. Are we there yet? Have we already passed it? I don't

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