When Dr. Carter G. Woodson, also known as the “Father of Black History” launched “ Negro History Week”, it later became what is now known as Black History Month. Dr. Woodson, a renowned historian, author, and journalist noted that American history was neglecting or misrepresenting the past of African Americans. It was his belief that Black people should know their past in order to be productive citizens. Though I can’t disagree with this statement, it is my belief that Black history should be every American's history.
It is a commonly held idea that historical preservation generally produces a more conscientious, empathetic, knowledgeable, and compassionate human being. Since I believe this to be true, embracing an appreciation for races, other than mine, has always been important to me. This has been an intentional endeavor. History has shown countless times that Black Americans have overcome insurmountable odds to achieve any number of successes while too often, still not given the recognition or acknowledgment that they deserved compared to their counterparts.
Though this is problematic, recognition of the problem is the first step to finding a solution. Black History Month should represent more than just a temporary celebration of notable African American icons and trailblazers. Black History should be represented in how you converse with your co-workers and employees in the business, how you interact with your neighbors in your community, how you celebrate the achievements of your teammates or even supporting Black-owned businesses.
We show people how we value them by the way we treat them. America has an opportunity to turn the corner on a past that historically has not been kind to people of African descent. But, I have a hope; the same hope that Dr. King spoke of when he so eloquently stated in his “I Have A Dream” speech of, “I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”