February otherwise known as Black History Month is an important time for the black community. This is the month that has been set aside for us to celebrate our history and achievements. Our history is filled with pain, sorrow, injustice and perseverance. It is also full of achievements and victories. However, it feels like this February is more important than ever.
Up until a few years ago it seemed that we were on our way to equality. There have been so many African American firsts, including the one that seemed most important – Barack Obama was elected president. Then it started. Blacks and our culture are under attack. At times it seems as though we’re in the 1950s when civil rights were laughed at.
Obama has become the most disrespected president. No other president has had to face the resistance he has. What’s the difference? On the streets of America, black people are being killed for no reason. Some of the killings are reported, some aren’t. Either way, it’s too many. In the south, the history of black struggle is being diluted. In South Carolina, teachers’ lessons down plays slavery. They include lessons that look at slavery from the perspective of the slave owner, as if to show sympathy for the master. From the president to school children our history is being repeated and rewritten.
But imagine life where our history is not acknowledged, or completely forgotten. We would not appreciate ourselves, because we wouldn’t know where we came from and how we got where we are now. Ultimately, we would lose sight of where we want to be. It is important for our generation to look at ourselves and understand the true importance of Black History Month. We should use it as an annual reminder that though we have come very far from being slaves on plantations, we still have a long way to go until equality is reached.
It seems like we are moving backwards in time. That’s why this February seems so important. Be a part of black history every day by striving to do what is right and encouraging others to do the same. Maybe our generation can be the one that moves us forward again.
As Obama once said, “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”