February 20, 2017
It is February, and we are in the midst of black history month. However, too often in America, black history gets reduced to a list of post-slavery firsts – the first black woman pilot. The first black astronaut. The first black Harvard professor. While it is important to take note of these milestones in American history, they are an incomplete narrative of the black experience.
Although the majority are unnamed and unattributed, black people have made countless contributions to this country, both as free people and as slaves. Black people have made meaningful contributions to the world, centuries before the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Let’s remember that slavery in America lasted 245 years. Meanwhile, modern human civilization as we know it started 6,000 years ago. The history of black people did not begin with the signing of the 13th Amendment in 1789 or the decolonization of Africa. Although slavery and colonization is a crucial chapter in black history, it is not the first chapter. It is a pivotal, yet short chapter, sandwiched in the middle of a massive tome.
I made the YouTube video below to share with you Four Unique Ways that you can celebrate black history this month – as well as throughout the year.
The point I would like to drive home is that black history matters because black history is American history, and black history is world history.
It is inaccurate to exclude any one group of people from the history books because the true human narrative transcends race – we have arrived where we are today, and advanced as a world civilization, together.
Subscribe to The Ainsley Life!