Twenty-eight days. That is obviously how many days are in the month of February, but what makes it special is that it is also Black History Month.
Black History Month 2017 has definitely been one to remember; black actors and actresses are serving look after look on red carpets this award season as well as snatching every single award there is to offer.
Six black actors and actresses were nominated for some of the top categories at the 89th annual Academy Awards. Viola Davis won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in “Fences,” Denzel Washington was nominated for Best Actor for his role in “Fences,” Ruth Negga was nominated for Best Actress for her role in “Loving,” and Mahershala Ali and Naomie Harris won in the Best Supporting Actor and Actresses categories for their roles in the Best Picture-winning “Moonlight.”
What I loved about this Black History Month specifically was that it showed me it isn’t just a month. I remember being in school and whenever February came around, my teachers would just bring up the basic leaders of the civil rights movement, like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. but they would never go into detail about them and I wondered why that was.
I walked around with a very limited understanding of my history; it was almost as if my school didn’t want me to know about who I was, only about the Europeans who came and stole from and killed the Native Americans who were already here to begin with. When it came time to actually talk about black history, it was just a cycle of slavery, civil rights movement and then nothing. As I got older, I actually did the research myself and looked into everything that the civil rights movement was. I researched nearly everything I could about the Black Panther Party after I saw a documentary on them and instantly became intrigued.
Now that I am in college and I am more aware of the struggles that my people have been through and are still continuing to go through today, I realized that the theory that I had at such a young age was actually true. My teachers were actually trying to erase my history right in front of me but I was too young to understand what was going on.
It took me until a month and a half ago when I found out three black women helped NASA with getting a man on the moon. Why am I learning this now? Where was this when I was in middle school or even high school? I used to treat Black History Month like it was nothing because that was the way schools that I went to treated it, but it wasn’t until this past year I really made the decision not to treat Black History Month the way my teachers did.
Black History Month is not just something that can be flicked away like a piece of lint on your clothing; it is an opportunity to highlight every aspect of black excellence, black girl magic, and black boy joy that happened this year and in years past. It highlights every black person who made a difference in this world, whether they were famous or they were not. Black History Month started out as just one week, Negro History Week, and here we are nearly a century later with an entire month dedicated to the people that have fought hard and are continuing to fight for what they believe in.
So with that being said, thanks for tuning in for this season of Black History Month! That’s all folks!