Since 1976, the United States has devoted the month of February to black history. As decades go on, Black History Month has become more of a celebration of black culture, excellence and the thriving of black individuals in general.
Black History Month originated from Carter G. Woodson’s “Negro History Week,” according to History.com. The Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) sponsored national Negro History Week. The organization chose to dedicate the second week of February to converge with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.
The nation should find pride in itself for overcoming a horrific epidemic of slavery, prejudice and racial discrimination. Although there are still racial issues in the country, progress has been made.
Years ago, segregation stood between bodies of people that passed judgment because of race. However, the individuals who believe society has grown tremendously to love and encourage one another have also realized the only superior race is the human race. Despite this way of thinking, racial profiling has not been permanently extinguished. Terrible events such as black-on-black crimes, police shootings and wrongful systematic occurrences are still taking place. Although, how discrimination effects law enforcement is not fully publicized. In an interview with Lonzell Scott, a reference clerk for the Midwest City Police Department, Scott stated after two years of military service, he became certified to be an Equal Employment Opportunity Clerk.
“Discrimination wasn’t that [bad] but minorities were having a hard time getting jobs,” Scott said. When asked if he personally experiences prejudice in his law enforcement career he answered “yes.”
“Being called the N-word wasn’t anything odd or out-of-the-ordinary,” Scott stated regarding his military service in 1982.
Despite his racial obstacles, Scott rose above the odds against him. He received an award from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People because of his achievements and efforts.
Black History Month reached prospects not only in the United States but also around the world. Countries such as Canada and the United Kingdom also partake in the celebration in black culture. This is an example of how many generations have evolved and have come to respect, and more importantly learn, from those before them. Seeing change in communities does not require looking far.
Rose State offers a variety of ethnicities in its students, faculty and staff. Dr. James Hochtritt, professor of African-American studies, holds Black History Month close to his heart.
He is caucasian man who teaches an African-American history course.
In an interview with Hochtritt, the question of why he wanted to teach black history arose. He replied that he grew up in the Bay area in the 1960s.
“In such a diverse and radical area, you could not help but to become politicized at a very early age,” Hochtritt said. Given his circumstances, growing up exposed to issues such as Civil Rights and watching his generation question various public issues, this contributed to his interest in African-American subjects. He began seeing oppression involving many ethnicities.
“You couldn’t help to be made aware, empathetic and understanding of all kinds of people,” he said.
Although black history is only recognized internationally once a year, the culture and triumph of blacks and minorities should be recognized every day.