Black History Month

'One day our descendants will think it incredible that we paid so much attention to things like the amount of melanin in our skin or the shape of our eyes or our gender instead of the unique identities of each of us as complex human beings.' - Franklin A. Thomas

February is finally here, which means it's Black History Month. February is a time that sees the black community come together to commemorate heroes of the past, celebrate black excellence and recognise not only how far we've come, but also how much further is left to go.

This being said, one of my least favourite things about Black History Month is the fact that it's not recognised and celebrated anywhere near to the extent of other events, such as Women's History Month. Throughout March, there's a constant presence of female empowerment across the whole of social media. The amount of recognition the month receives is inspiring. Black History Month, however, is not met with nearly as much recognition and support.

As I scroll through my Instagram, Twitter and Bloglovin' feeds, I tend to see a couple of posts dotted about here and there, although nothing compared to Women's History Month. In addition, the posts that appear are usually from the black community. White feminists typically fall silent on black related issues, and whilst they spend the rest of the year raising awareness for misogyny, gay rights, the need for feminism etc. black history seems to be a topic they have very little to comment on. This isn't true of all white people, of course, but it's something that's come to my attention and have recognised over the past few years.

The History of Black History Month

Also known as African-American History Month, the celebration originally appeared in 1926 as Negro History Week, during the second week of February. This specific week was chosen as it coincided with Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass' birthdays. They were both important figures to the black community. The week was created by Carter G. Woodson.

In 1976, President Gerald Ford, said that the United States needed to 'seize the opportunity to honour the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavour throughout our history'. He therefore expanded Negro History Week to a whole month. The UK began celebrating Black History Month in 1987.

The Importance of Black History Month

Instead of describing why I think that Black History Month is important, I've included a number of thought-provoking images relating to black history and the Black Lives Matter movement.