I have been very irritated with advertisements and the attitudes of students concerning Black History Month.
I am not knocking Black History Month, and I am not trying to insult its founder, Carter G. Woodson. But I am, however, upset that America has relegated the celebration of my history to a month.
When Woodson introduced the idea of a “Negro History Week,”
I’m sure his goal was not to force America to recognize the accomplishments of black people in the course of one week then forget about it the rest of the year.
Mainstream America, with the help of blacks, has made a mockery of black people’s historic contributions.
During the Super Bowl, Coca-Cola conveniently showed a commercial that listed accomplishments by black people and at the end stated, “Coca-Cola celebrates black history, especially today.” I was immediately embarrassed.
Coca-Cola just told me that since February is Black History Month, they will only celebrate black people’s achievments during that month; especially since two black head football coaches made it to the Super Bowl. I have never seen a commercial celebrating the history of blacks in any month beside February. It really is a shame; they may as well not celebrate it at all.
A number of students have fallen into this same trap. Harriet Tubman conducted the Underground Railroad for a decade, Malcolm X preached from the time he left jail in 1952 until his death in 1965. As a matter of fact, he was about to preach right before he died. They fought for you January through December, and you mean to tell me you celebrate Black History Month? Please.
I am sure that if these freedom fighters only fought in the month of February, then we would not be where we are today. I am sure that if the slaves only toiled the grounds in February, there would not be much to call “America.”
Do not mock the people, who bled, died and got humiliated in the name of you so you could urinate in the same bathroom as whites and drink out their water fountains. Celebrate those fighters every day.
Celebrate them by going to class and proving yourself to the world.
Celebrate them by picking up your brothers and sisters who are not so fortunate as you.
If you want to be on top, you have to work at it every day. They realized this, but have we?
All of a sudden in February, you’re proud to be black. Realize that your 400-year history is too rich to be realized only in a 28-day month.
Samaria Bailey is a junior magazine production student from Macon, Ga. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.