October was Black History Month. This national celebration aims to promote and celebrate Black contributions to British society, and to foster an understanding of Black History in general. Its origins go back to the 1920s and the establishment of Negro History Week in the United States.
As stated above, Black History Month “aims to promote and celebrate Black contributions to British society”. Many might read this statement and think highly of it but not realise the whole concept of Black History Month is that it’s good – to a certain extent.
It’s nationally known that when the month of October comes around, Black History is to be celebrated, promoted or talked about more than usual. I think this is where the problem lies. British communities only then begin to see the appreciation of Black contributions to British society and the world. The real question is, why? Why should it not be appreciated and promoted throughout the calendar year? Why should the British people be restricted to only getting to know about Black History in October? Why is it that as soon as November 1st comes around, all is forgotten and posters in schools and shops are taken down?
Carter G. Woodson, the man who originally had the idea of Black History Week, stated that he hoped one day people would no longer celebrate Black History Month. He could see the day where it would no longer be necessary, it would just be British and the world’s history.
The British people should learn not just about the Black injustices but the many revelational changes that Black people caused or helped contribute towards. Garret Morgan, the inventor of the three-position traffic signal. Lewis Howard Latimer, was an American patent draftsman for the patents of the incandescent light bulb, among other inventions. Granville Tailer Woods, an inventor who held more than 60 patents in the U.S. He was the first African American mechanical and electrical engineer after the Civil War; self-taught, he concentrated most of his work on trains and streetcars.
These are just a few inspirational Black people who achieved what was considered impossible back then which, therefore, resulted in writing their names down in the history books. But the problem is that this part of the history book is only looked at during October. And this is not because there is not enough history to cover a year’s learning but purely because Black History is dedicated to one month.
This is why Black History Month should just be Black History which nationally celebrates Black contributions to British society, and to foster an understanding of Black History generally throughout the year, every year.