OUR VIEW: One month is not enough to honor black history

Published on Monday, 5 February 2018 20:48
Written by Staff

February is Black History Month. The annual celebration of African Americans’ achievements was designated in 1976 and has been marked every year with a theme.

The Black History Month 2018 theme, “African Americans in Times of War,” marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I and notes the contributions African Americans made during wartime and in the U.S. military, according to History.com.

While we recognize the importance of honoring African Americans whose contributions in every aspect of American society has shaped our country, we wonder if 28 days a year to herald these accomplishments is sufficient.

Throughout history, African Americans have brought their talent, genius, hard work, athleticism, creativity, artistry and bravery to the world we live in.

Thousands of stories of heroism, discovery and accomplishment may go untold and unknown to most of us, but that doesn’t make them any less important.

During a program at New Britain Public Library this past weekend, African American women who blazed a trail for equality were remembered.

Lena Harwood Pacheco, director of education for Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame offered many examples of the acts of courageous black women like Maria Miller Stewart, the first black woman to speak publicly about the abolition of slavery, and Martha Minerva Franklin, a black nurse who founded the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses in 1908. Black women who became authors, judges and politicians were also mentioned, but, of course, the entirety of all African American achievements couldn’t be presented in one short program. And that’s the point.

An understanding of black history can’t be contained to one month a year. It must be recognized and taught in schools and correctly represented in the narrative of our country 365 days a year.

Posted in New Britain Herald, Editorials on Monday, 5 February 2018 20:48. Updated: Monday, 5 February 2018 20:51.