Black history is more than just a month: It’s a reality

The month of February marks Black History Month, where African Americans and Black people around the United States take time to celebrate and acknowledge the unrecognized achievements of both the past and present.

But this doesn’t square the centuries of inequities African Americans still face. Thus, Black History month is more than a month. It is an everyday reality for many African Americans.

As an African American young woman, I must admit I haven’t done my best to celebrate my heritage. However, there’s more to me than just the color of my skin. Yes, my skin complexion represents the roots of my heritage, but it doesn’t solely define who I am.

It’s imperative that as African Americans we are aware and knowledgeable about our history. We are more than the color of our skin. We are more than a race. We are more than societal stereotypes. As African Americans, we must do more to promote and spread awareness of our race’s achievements.

Martin Luther King Jr. led the Civil Rights Movement, Barack Obama became the first Black president of the United States, but there is more to Black history than these two men.

Black history doesn’t originate from the 1960s, but four hundred years ago, when the first recorded African slaves arrived in Virginia. Don’t get me wrong, Black history isn’t just about slavery and its detrimental effects. Rather, Black history month is an opportunity for African Americans to learn from our past history and to move forward with new stories, creations, and experiences.

Celebrating our Black heritage shouldn’t just be reserved for a month. In actuality, we should be celebrating Black stories in both the past and present every day of the year.

To be “Black” isn’t a trend. It’s our truth. Creating and recognizing Black stories, businesses, and culture are just a few of the many ways to celebrate Black History. Thus, I encourage you to change your perspective on Black history month. Black history should be celebrated, praised, and acknowledged every day of the year. Black History is more than a month but it’s an ever-changing reality, constant experience, and daily commitment.