While an effective promotional tool, important discussions about race should be frequent.
The Black Student Union at the University of Minnesota is a student group that serves as a “social, intellectual and cultural community for students.” On Sunday, the group concluded its series of events in celebration of Black History Month with a string of performances, speakers and food.
The performances told the story of struggle in the black community, explaining how we can rise together and how we should take pride in that rise. The event’s theme was “young, black, educated and gifted,” and this phrase resonated at the end of the speeches and songs.
At the end of the night, the board had everyone “pledge” how they were going to continue to celebrate black history or how they wanted to make a change in the world.
On my strip of paper, I wrote, “To continue to be a strong-willed, confident black woman and inspire.”
Black history should be celebrated. But I believe it should be celebrated and intertwined with American history without needing to have a specific month dedicated to its recognition. I feel many people see black and American history as two separate things. In reality, they’re not.
I’m not saying celebrating Black History Month is a bad thing. I feel that it generates good publicity and leads people to have important discussions about black history and culture.
Race and ethnicity continue to shape people’s identities in America, and we shouldn’t limit thought-provoking discussion and education about black history to one month. Instead we should spread out our discussions of black history throughout the year.