Black History month is here, as I’m sure you already know. I used to dread this month because it tended to be, and in most cases still is, filled with recycled information.
During my first couple of years in elementary school, I mistook February to be “Commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Month.” Looking back, I’m sure Carter G. Woodson would be offended, but could you blame me?
It seems like ever since I was in the first grade, Black History Month was a time when my teachers broke out dusty pictures of King and made us recite parts of his “I Have A Dream” speech. Of course, they would try to spruce it up by giving us brief facts on George Washington Carver and Rosa Parks.
It’s funny because, looking back, it seemed as if Parks couldn’t be mentioned in a conversation without King being mentioned, as well. I also remember thinking Parks was King’s wife because their names would coincide in every black history speech given at my school’s assemblies.
I remember when my third grade teacher told the class to do a brief report on a contributor to the Civil Rights Movement. That following day, my teacher had to sit through 21 reports on King, Parks and Carver.
The sad part is that she didn’t tell us to do them over. Instead she let us leave our reports as they were.
Now I try to break out of the monotone humdrum of information regurgitated from previous “Februarys” in order to catch up with all I missed during my elementary school years. I do this in hopes that I might be able to bestow some of its good use on my little brother. Because, although it’s been eight years since my elementary days, I get the strange feeling that not much has changed.
Zena K. Boyd, 18, is a freshman journalism student from Sumter, S.C.
She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.