By BREANNA DAVIS
This article won’t really focus on black people who have made history; there are too many of us who have done that. That’s not to say there won’t be highlights such as Allensworth, the only California community to be founded, financed and governed by African-Americans. It was created by Allen Allensworth in 1908, with the intention of establishing a self-sufficient, all-black city where African-Americans could live their lives free of racial discrimination.
What I’m more interested in is what does Black History Month truly means and why it still exists. For me, black history is something I breathe and live every day. Black History Month is something that is good for the black community and America as a whole. It is largely misconstrued in its purpose. A lot of people and institutions spend so much time focusing on blacks during Black History Month that it seems like a target month more than a month of tribute, honor and homage to those who have helped to pave the way to help blacks be successful today.
Something else that interests me about Black History month is the amount of lies that are either passed off as or neglected as Black history. For example, many don’t know that Elvis Presley stole much of his music from Black musicians such as Little Walters and Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton. Lincoln did not free the slaves from the goodness of his heart. He was a man with a plan: he wanted to win a war, and knew he couldn’t do it without freeing the slaves.
Black History Month cannot be mentioned without racial discrimination being brought up as well. It is something that is still being fought today. I know that a lot of people would like to believe that it doesn’t exist and that everyone is the same, but that’s simply not the case. There will always be racial discrimination as long as it is not talked about and brought to light. Rather than practicing color blindness, which rejects that there is still racial discrimination and even that racial minorities still have social issues to deal with, Georgetown College has made attempts to reconcile the racial differences some may have. The fact that this article exists is proof that Georgetown College is trying to make a difference. The diversity programs are another effort. Fifty years ago, a step team wouldn’t have even been an option at this institution, and neither would a gospel choir. Georgetown has both of those and other events and opportunities that allow minorities to hold true to themselves.
Information for this article obtained at: historynet.com and ashbrook.org.