The story of America is incomplete without the story of Black folks.
Black culture authenticates American culture.
Black folks history is often subject to revision and/or erasure
America’s treatment of Black people is cyclical in nature, so it is of benefit to know how those who came before us navigated troubled waters.
Because there’s a long list of other Black world-changers not named Martin Luther King
Because knowledge of Black folks’ contributions to America should not be necessary for us to be treated with dignity, but white folks need to be more aware of how limiting the American experiment is when systemic racism shits on Black people.
It is not in reverence to ancient history. Some of the most significant milestones have occurred within the past half-century.
Representation not only matters but is still in a place of deficit when it comes to Black people.
Black folks have been healers to this country time and time again.
Because there are white girls who never heard the names Fannie Lou Hamer, Audre Lorde or Diane Nash, and should be aware that a lot of the feminist energy they’re running around with was fueled by Black woman womanism.
Because there is very likely a James Baldwin quote to answer any question about how an equitable society should function.
It is impossible to name a contemporary movement for social justice that has not borrowed inspiration or tactical approach from Civil Rights-era Black organizers
Because in 2021 there are still Black firsts happening, which is history-making in real time that will also require archiving.
America often has amnesia when it comes to where the origins of its best ideas, inventions and trends came from.
Black children deserve a deeper point-of-reference of Blackness than just modern media portrayals.
The Black American story is a fascinating case study of human evolution in a land that trademarked Black dehumanization.
Black creatives kept America from being drab and literally birthed original American arts and culture.
The 21st-century did not magically level the playing field for Black folks. It deepened the burial plots. America still has much to learn about its destructive past.
Today’s fights for liberation, equity and basic human decency have roots that extend far beyond a hashtag.
We are deserving of remembrance.
America is not even race-neutral enough to do away with honoring Black history.
We have always been more than the dying.
How many civilizations you know have endured forced migration, discriminatory laws, public murders, gross inequity and systemic disenfranchisement and still managed to build a culture and a nation?
There are Black history-makers still living and able to not only verify the past but give us sound advice for progressing forward.
Because Black resilience is the true definition of American grit.
It is customary to celebrate Valentine’s Day on February 14th, and February as Black History Month is a 28-day love letter in recognition of our culture.
Black History Month coming in the second month of the calendar year is a necessary grounding for the year ahead.
It is not italicized American history. It’s bold-letter history. Period.
About the Author
Donney Rose is a poet, essayist, Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow, advocate, and Chief Content Editor at The North Star. He believes in telling how it is and how it should be
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