Black History Month Has Come a Long Way

by on February 13, 2023 · 2 comments

in Civil Rights, From the Soul, History

from Columbia School of Professional Studies

by Ernie McCray

Black History Month
has come a long way
since a beginning
that was filled with
controversy over celebrating
it in the month that has the fewest days
when Black History, so much of it
American History,
could be integrated in historical studies
throughout a school year
and there have been those

who oppose the very notion,
seeing any attention
being given to African Americans
as a brand of reverse racism
but it has grown in acceptance,
beyond schools
and onto
other avenues,
theaters, libraries, museums…
blossoming internationally:
commemorated in the UK
as part of freedoms gained by Africans,

instituted in Germany
by the Black German community,

seen by Canada as honoring
achievements and contributions
to their nation’s cultural diversity,
approached in Ireland
to recognize its role
as an anti-slavery society
in the 19th Century.

France dedicated the month
to Josephine Baker,
dancer and member of the French Resistance
during World War II
close to the time
a few African countries
acknowledged Black History Month
for the first time.

So, the month is here to stay,
its longevity
riding on the backs
of those
around the world
who refused to let
a people’s stories

wither like grapes on a vine,
dying before anyone

can enjoy
the sweetness
of the fruit
on their tongue,
giving credence

to James Baldwin
who once said:

“If you know whence you came
there is no limit where you can go.”

Everyone’s stories must be told.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

J. Cannon February 13, 2023 at 8:54 pm



Jerry Wallingford February 14, 2023 at 3:19 pm



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