The way in which that America approaches Black History Month is grossly limiting.
In many faculties, organizations, workspaces and past, the month is distilled to the identical whitewashed tales of choose civil rights figures and a handful of picture-perfect moments in historical past. Our historical past and tradition are persistently depicted as one-dimensional.
Carter G. Woodson didn’t create Negro Historical past Week in 1926, which grew to become Black Historical past Month 40 years later, for our tales to be watered down and fictionalized by means of revisionist historical past. But, 12 months after 12 months, we see Rosa Parks described as passive as an alternative of a longtime freedom fighter. We see the accomplishments of figures like Edmonia Lewis, Bayard Rustin and Sojourner Fact go ignored. We see people view our timeline as beginning at slavery. And when March 1 comes alongside, we see people neglect once more that we, too, are America.
America, although dangerously flawed, wouldn’t have half of the alternatives, liberties and infrastructure it has immediately had it not been for the backs of black folks upon which this nation was constructed. Erasure is a most important goal of racism, and it has succeeded with regards to documenting and celebrating our historical past. And since our historical past is American historical past, erasing the contributions of black Individuals makes it unimaginable to precisely inform the story of this nation.
Because of this, this February, HuffPost Black Voices is reminding y’all that Black Historical past Constructed This. All month lengthy, we’ll be celebrating our place up to now, current and future.
We’re reclaiming our narrative. Our historical past is just too expansive, stunning, resilient, joyous, highly effective and distinctive to ever turn out to be some cliché social research lesson plan. We’re seldom given correct credit score, not to mention reward, for the way our wealthy historical past and tradition haven’t solely influenced but additionally helped assemble the idea for what we view as progress immediately.
All month lengthy, we’ll convey you tales, video, pictures and conversations that amplify our greatness and shine a lightweight on our humanity, beginning with “We Constructed This,” a photograph collection captured by Kris Graves highlighting a couple of of the change brokers who’re making historical past immediately, which we shall be including to all through the month. We may even be sharing tales of doulas, conflict veterans, musicians, entrepreneurs and plenty of others who deserve reward because the historical past makers of immediately’s and future generations. This month’s content material isn’t a complete take a look at our historical past, but it surely’s meant to assist fill a void left by incomplete textbooks.
As editor of HuffPost Black Voices, I imagine we should inform our actual and genuine tales, not for simply 28 days a 12 months, however for 365.