With just nine days left in February, the international monthly holiday known as Black History Month is coming under fire for its necessity. While most people are holding events and honoring outstanding African-Americans past and present, many are debating if the holiday needs to go, or morph into something different. The reason for such opinions are based on ideas that the holiday continues segregation.
Reported today on HuffPost’s ‘The Blog’, President and CEO at The Center for Workforce, Trudy Bourgeois, shared a few strong opinions on this topic. At the beginning of her post today she said, “Black History Month is a farce.” Is she serious?
Bourgeois repeated the idea that progression of African-Americans in the workforce continues to fall, and that the month long celebration needs to cease. She thinks African-American history should be celebrated everyday, not just for one month. She has a point -- that African-American history should be an everyday event. Bourgeois offered further harsh beliefs on this topic. Some might find them offensive, but she isn’t alone.
Guest Columnist, Ph.D, Emmanuel Ngomsi also thinks the month should be used in a better manner. Specifically he would like the holiday to help figure out ways to overcome current issues faced by African-Americans. He wants to see more work that enriches African-American communities, rather than just celebrating past history.
Ngomsi said, he just has some problems in the way the holiday is celebrated for todays world. Adding, he doesn’t seem to think the holiday needs to go away completely, but rather be improved.
But one city has started that approach.
In Washington, Pa., the Wash Arts Community Arts and Cultural Center created the event, ‘Crawl'. In one night several community groups will join forces to incorporate a variety of events to celebrate Black History Month and community. The local sponsors will include; the Washington's Teen Outreach, the LeMoyne House, and the Washington Health Systems.
On Feb. 21, from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m., the ‘Crawl’ night will include honoring teenagers who have risen above segregation, featuring student essays, while the Underground Railroad will be open to all visitors, and then finishing the event lineup is the Wash Arts, where people can enjoy local and regional artists. The hope with this event is not only to celebrate BHM, but for people to become involved in their local community. Sounds like this event is going to bring humankind together, as one, not create segregation. Which is similar to what Columnist, Don Roach wrote about.
Roach would also like to see the holiday end, because he feels it preserves the idea of racism. He said, Black History Month needs to go.
He believes that the history should be celebrated everyday with the rest of history. Roach said, the holiday continues to separate African-American history from the rest of American History, and continues a segregation ideology of “me” and “you”.
What are your thoughts on these ideas?