Black History Month is striking me funny this time around. Reading a quote by Morgan Freeman only took that odd feeling to the next level. He said, “I don’t want a Black History Month. Black history is American history.” It’s like there’s a disconnect between the history that we choose to remember in this month, and the rest of the American History. I don’t think this is how it was intended, or supposed to be. I think Black History Month was created with good intentions, but that does not change how it is making me feel this year. I think it is important for all American children to know the pains, struggles, and victories of all Americans, all the time. I equally think it is important to tell them the truth about genocide of indigenous people, slavery, and the struggle for social equality, all the time.
I mean, there’s no White History month, though I guess every month actually is, most especially depending on where you live. Or what about Indigenous People of America History Month? Or Other Shades of Brown People’s History Month? It just seems odd that, for the most part, a huge chunk of hundreds of years of important history is taken out of context and looked at in a certain way, only one month out of the year. One day, if I have kids and they live in this country, I want them to learn about the determination of people like Rosa Parks all year round; I want her picture on their classroom walls. I want them to see pictures of Dr. King all year round, and color-in pictures of him throughout the year. I want them to learn excerpts from Malcolm X speeches in English class, not just in February. I want my kids to learn American History.
I also realize that “history” in and of itself is just as contrived as the “news” we watch on the television; moulded to fit the prejudice doctrines of the Teller, only becoming further warped as it enters the ears, through the biased filter of the Receiver; this is not to mention the level of distortion that occurs when the Receiver becomes the Teller, and the next Receiver becomes the next Teller, and this happens for generation upon generation. But I choose not to just eat up everything I am fed, and not to believe everything that I am told. I choose to seek truth, though truth is often relative, depending on whose “truth” it is. America does indeed have a dark past, so yes a dark history. But I believe history should be history, and not one single occurrence or event should be singled out. Anything that happened on this soil is American History, and all of the atrocities should be mourned always, and all the victories should be celebrated always, simultaneously, all year, all the time.