Is it time to rethink Black History Month? | The Tylt

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Politics
Is it time to rethink Black History Month?
A festive crown for the winner
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Since its inception 40 years ago, both black and white Americans have debated the value of Black History Month. Some believe, given the current political climate, Black History Month is needed now more than ever. But critics argue Black History Month gives many an excuse to only pay attention to black Americans once a year. Not to mention Black History Month is in February—the coldest and shortest month of the year. It hardly seems like enough time to give black Americans the recognition they deserve. Is it time to rethink Black History Month?

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Is it time to rethink Black History Month?
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Since its inception 40 years ago, Black History Month has been a point of contention for many. On one hand, some insist there shouldn't be a Black History Month at all if we truly wish to strive for equality. Actor Stacy Dash angered many when she said the BET channel and Black History Month should be eliminated because they promote "segregation."

But Dash isn't the only one who has an issue with Black History Month. Many black Americans find it problematic because it gives people an excuse to only pay attention to black issues and black history once a year. Black history is American history. It is extensive, important and necessary. It should be taught and recognized year-round, not for 28 days in February.

The rich historical threads that make up the American tapestry are not already embedded in basic curricula. American history is a diverse as the people who lived it, the people who changed it, the people who fought, bled and sometimes died for it. We are obligated to tell the story, even the most painful chapters... I cannot help but hope for a time when African-American history becomes more than a set-aside program

As Bosuntunde Aduroja argues in Odyssey, Black History Month often allows racially ignorant individuals to pat themselves on the back once a month for recognizing black Americans while ignoring them for the other 11 months.

I hate Black History Month because it shouldn't be necessary. The curriculums used to teach in Black History Month are only used in February, despite the fact that America's racial history has been influenced by many African-American leaders and activists. Twenty-eight days doesn't begin to scratch the surface of the complicated animal that is black history.
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Others argue that as imperfect as Black History Month may be, it gives black Americans an excuse to celebrate themselves and the contributions of other black Americans. Of course, black history can't be condensed into a single month, that's not the point. As CNN's Peniel Joseph states "black history is alive," it doesn't cease to be important just because Barack Obama was elected president. 

President Trump's complicit attitude toward white nationalists only adds to the necessity of Black History Month. From his troubling comments, in which he insisted "both sides" were to blame for the violence in Charlottesville, to referring to Haiti and African nations as "shithole countries," Trump poses a unique threat to black Americans.

Trump's political vision for America -- supported by a White House Cabinet populated overwhelmingly by white men who support policy, legislative and legal views that are hostile to the idea of African-American citizenship and racial equality—denies this reality, focusing instead on the supposedly pathological behavior of black communities.
Black History Month offers a different vision, one President Trump and our country both desperately need to see right now.
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In a video for Essence, comedian Chris Rock shares his thoughts on Black History Month:

"Black History Month is in February, the shortest month of the year, and the coldest, just in case we want to have a parade. I'm black so it's always Black History Month. It just always is. It's not like, 'Hey I know we've been ignoring black people for the last 11 months, but this month we're gonna black it up.'"
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Some point out if you're only inviting black leaders to speak in February, you're doing it wrong.

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But many use Black History Month as a time to celebrate the past and look to the future. Sure, we should care about black issues and black history 365 days a year, but why not pay it some extra attention in February?

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Others still believe black history should be fully integrated into American history, and celebrating Black History Month keeps that from happening.

FINAL RESULTS
Politics
Is it time to rethink Black History Month?
A festive crown for the winner
#WeNeedBLKHistory
#BLKHistoryAllYear