The Shawshank’s star questioned the interviewer, Mike Wallace, in ‘60 Minutes’ ‘You’re going to relegate my history to a month?’ ….Those words really make you think. Are we relegating our history to a month? Is February the only time that we think about all the contributions of our Black people? I know in schools this is the month that we educate our young ones on what all our fore fathers did. This is the time that we host cultural festivities, promote our heroes and really put our history out there. Does that mean we’re hypocrites of our own history?
Before I continue dissecting Morgan freeman’s take on Black History month, let
me define the month. According to www.wikipedia.com, Black History Month, also known as African-American History Month, is an annual observance in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom for remembrance of important people and events in the history of the African Diaspora. The month originated from Negro History Week which was launched in 1926 by Dr. Carter G. Woodson. Dr. Carter G. Woodson chose the second week of February to celebrate Negro History Week (between the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln). The week evolved into Black History Month in 1976. According to www.freemaninstitute.com, Dr. Carter was convinced that the history of African-Americans were being ignored and misrepresented and so this remembrance was one of the steps he took to make things right.
So can we say that Dr. Carter did the wrong thing by introducing such a remembrance? Let’s face it. We learn so much about other groups’ history all year round but not our own until recently. So, I think that Dr. Carter did a wise thing by introducing this remembrance as it played a significant role in us learning about the accomplishments of our race especially in the early 20th century.
However, there is a flip side and here’s where Morgan Freeman has a very strong point. In the words of my friend, ‘Black History shouldn’t just be remembered in a month and only has its significance at that specific time’ that I do agree with. We should acknowledge them all year round, not in words per se but in actions. The next matter he mentions about racism, well, I’ll save that for a next article. What are your thoughts on what Mr. Freeman said about Black History Month?…Let’s have a discussion.