Black History Month

Portrait of Carter Woodson
Portrait of American historian and educator Carter Godwin Woodson (1875 – 1950), 1910s. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

It’s February and you know what that means, it’s black history month!!

Rather than attempt to reinvent the wheel and explain it myself, here’s an eloquent article from The Times that explains why February became black history month.

Black History Month: How it started

As a member of the African diaspora, black history month has always been important for me. The traditional history curriculum in Canada tells us a lot about the achievements of Canadians and Americans.  However, other than Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks, I never learned much about any other noteworthy Black-Americans or Black-Canadians.

It was only because of black history month and its purposeful turn towards people of color that I learned that a Viola Desmond, a Canadian women of color, refused to give up her seat in a movie theater nine years before Rosa Parks refused to move seats on a bus.

History should be about doing our best to recollect our country’s past without silencing stories that don’t quite fit the narrative. For example, I would love to have learned more about the history of Aboriginals, since Canada originally was and still is the home of many, many indigenous people. But unfortunately it’s just not really taught in the curriculum. We get a shallow dose of what residential schools were but that’s about it.

So while I do love that there is a black history month, maybe there should be other months too? But that might get weird… so maybe instead history class should just encompass other ethnicities right from the get go so we as students are presented with a more accurate and complete picture of Canada’s and the USA’s history.

Should we have months celebrating the achievements of different cultural groups, or should history class be reformed to include the achievements of many cultural groups?

Thanks for reading. ❤


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