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Why Can’t the Mentality of Black History Month Last More Than Just 28 Days?

Black history month is among us, alas, and the feeling of awaited appreciation is among us. From TV specials to the occasional parade, there’s no doubt that February is the time when the spirit of being Black comes alive.

However, the representation of African American history during the 28 (sometimes 29) days of February is not the issue. The problem is that once this month is over, it’s like a trance has been lifted and everyone falls back into the spell of sweet ignorance.

Sure, the daily Black History facts are much appreciated as well as the surge of Black History articles and overall awareness of the accomplishments of my people, but this is something that should be occurring every day.

“We celebrate accomplishments and remember our past right along people outside of the Black community and then before we know it it’s like the party is over and everyone has gone home.”

I’m not asking you to engulf yourself in Black literature all day until you can memorize every Black accomplishment that ever graced this Earth, but what’s the point of saving all of this abundant appreciation for a single month? Why not spread this attitude onto the eleven other months where Black representation is scarce and it has become routine for Black inventors and activists to be grazed over in school history books.

It seems as if society has given us a single month, not to mention that it’s the shortest month of the year, to quiet our protests about the lack of representation or even acknowledgment throughout the rest of the year. We celebrate accomplishments and remember our past right alongside people outside of the Black community and then before we know it it’s like the party is over and everyone has gone home. No more informational text pieces no more celebratory banquets, just blatant radio silence from those who were just celebrating with us yesterday.

We don’t live in a society where the Black community is acknowledged often, if even at all. What Black history month does is promote tolerance from those outside of the community by inviting them to learn about all of the amazing things that we have accomplished. The month is purely educational, merely meant to put the oppressed on a pedestal for once- the purpose is not to put anyone down or exclude other cultures.

So when our 28 days are up and all mention of the attitudes of the previous month are seemingly vanquished, it can be very disheartening. Especially to the young generation who witness their culture systematically celebrated and then ignored in a matter of a month. It’s a vicious cycle that even those in the Black community are guilty of, and it’s one that we need to leave in 2016.

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