Is Black History Month Still Relevant?

February is Black History Month. This month has been very controversial lately. I recently read two articles showing different opinions on this topic. The articles show different perspectives on whether Black History Month is still relevant and necessary.

One, from the Morning Call, said that having Black history relegated to a single month is counterproductive and harmful to students. It allows teachers and schools do not teach about important Black figures at other times during the year. This article says that only focusing on Black history for one month, the shortest month out of the year, is segregation. As stated by the article, “As long as America continues to embrace Black History Month in its current state, we are implying that we are okay with this form of segregation: That one month is for black people and the other 11 are for everyone else.” The article expresses that celebrating Black History Month exhibits that we are okay with the racism and segregation showed by this month.

The other article, from the Gazette, shows the opposite opinion. How Black History Month is still relevant because, without it, there is little diversity in school history classes. This article was a combination of quotes from different sources, mostly from people in education. The quotes say that other than during this time, Black history is mostly ignored by schools. This means that without this month, there would be little to no representation in classes. The quotes don’t imply that one month is enough to do justice for Black history, but instead say that it is sad that Black History Month is still relevant, and that it is merely the first step. The article includes a quote from George Houston, a former principal, saying, “Black history remains relevant because the truth of our history continues to be lost, stolen, ignored, and misrepresented.” This quote shows how this month is still important. How this is one of the only times when Black history is actually shown and talked about.
My opinion is most closely related to the second article from The Gazette. I don’t want Black History Month to be relevant. In a perfect world, we wouldn’t need it to learn about Black history, which is just history. However, our world is not perfect. We don’t see diverse representation in our history classes. African Americans have impacted every field, and we don’t learn much about them in schools. I think that we need Black History Month to fully learn about this, as it is ignored more often than not. One quote from the second article that resonates with me is from Dennis Moore, a retired program analyst. As stated by the article, “Sadly, Black History Month is still relevant because educational materials at all levels, authors and documentarians still fail to include true black history in their work. … history should reflect that African American influence is far-reaching.” This shows us how much entertainment we see that glosses over African American contributions in many fields. However, I completely agree that only covering Black history one month a year is dangerous. As stated in the other article from the Morning Call, “Outside of Black History Month, black lives were only collectively referenced as slaves before the Civil War or as protesters being bitten by dogs and persecuted during the civil rights movement. This form of restrictive racial education made me feel inferior.” This shows a firsthand account of the negative and dangerous effects of Black History Month. I think that Black History Month should be gone as soon as getting rid of it won’t be more harmful. We can see in recent events how discrimination is still prevalent and how much history is ignored, which shows how Black History Month is still, sadly, relevant.