The best way that America approaches Black Historical past Month is grossly limiting.
In many faculties, organizations, workspaces and past, the month is distilled to the identical whitewashed tales of choose civil rights figures and a handful of picture-perfect moments in historical past. Our historical past and tradition are constantly depicted as one-dimensional.
Carter G. Woodson didn’t create Negro Historical past Week in 1926, which grew to become Black Historical past Month 40 years later, for our tales to be watered down and fictionalized by means of revisionist historical past. But, 12 months after 12 months, we see Rosa Parks described as passive as an alternative of a longtime freedom fighter. We see the accomplishments of figures like Edmonia Lewis, Bayard Rustin and Sojourner Reality go neglected. We see of us view our timeline as beginning at slavery. And when March 1 comes alongside, we see of us overlook once more that we, too, are America.
America, although dangerously flawed, wouldn’t have half of the alternatives, liberties and infrastructure it has as we speak had it not been for the backs of black individuals upon which this nation was constructed. Erasure is a principal goal of racism, and it has succeeded relating to documenting and celebrating our historical past. And since our historical past is American historical past, erasing the contributions of black People makes it unattainable to precisely inform the story of this nation.
Because of this, this February, HuffPost Black Voices is reminding y’all that Black Historical past Constructed This. All month lengthy, we’ll be celebrating our place prior to now, current and future.
We’re reclaiming our narrative. Our historical past is just too expansive, stunning, resilient, joyous, highly effective and distinctive to ever develop into some cliché social research lesson plan. We’re seldom given correct credit score, not to mention reward, for the way our wealthy historical past and tradition haven’t solely influenced but in addition helped assemble the premise for what we view as progress as we speak.
All month lengthy, we’ll carry you tales, video, images and conversations that amplify our greatness and shine a lightweight on our humanity, beginning with “We Constructed This,” a photograph collection captured by Kris Graves highlighting a number of of the change brokers who’re making historical past as we speak, which we might be including to all through the month. We may also be sharing tales of doulas, conflict veterans, musicians, entrepreneurs and lots of others who deserve reward because the historical past makers of as we speak’s and future generations. This month’s content material isn’t a complete take a look at our historical past, nevertheless it’s meant to assist fill a void left by incomplete textbooks.
As editor of HuffPost Black Voices, I imagine we should inform our actual and genuine tales, not for simply 28 days a 12 months, however for 365.
Be a part of us within the dialog and inform us what tales America must be telling utilizing the hashtag #BlackHistoryBuiltThis on Fb, Twitter or Instagram.