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Honoring African American History Beyond Black History Month





Black History Month, which is celebrated annually in the United States in February, has long been a source of both pride and controversy for the African American community. On one hand, the celebration of Black History Month provides an opportunity to recognize the contributions and achievements of African Americans throughout history and highlight the often-overlooked stories of Black people in the United States. On the other hand, some argue that the celebration of Black History Month serves to further marginalize and compartmentalize the history and experiences of African Americans, rather than fully integrating it into mainstream historical narratives.


One of the main critiques of Black History Month is that it is not sufficient to recognize the contributions and experiences of African Americans within a single month. African American history, specifically in Anne Arundel County, has a rich and significant history that extends far beyond a month. For example, Anne Arundel County has a long history of African American activism and resistance, including the efforts during the civil rights movement by The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) to desegregate public spaces in the county in the 1950s and 1960s. This history includes the struggle for civil rights, the contributions of African Americans to art, science, and culture, and the ongoing struggles for equality and justice. By limiting the recognition of African American history to a single month, it suggests that this history is not as important or integral to American history as the histories of other groups.


Additionally, some argue that the celebration of Black History Month reinforces the idea of segregation and segregationist thinking. By separating out Black history from mainstream American history, it suggests that Black history is not a part of the larger American narrative, but rather something separate and distinct. This reinforces the idea that African Americans are not fully integrated into mainstream society and perpetuates the notion of racial separation.


Furthermore, Black History Month often focuses on the achievements and contributions of well-known African American figures, such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks, while ignoring the everyday struggles and experiences of the African American community. While it is important to recognize the contributions of these historical figures, it is also important to recognize the everyday experiences and struggles of ordinary African Americans. For example, the African American community in Anne Arundel County has long faced issues of housing discrimination and segregation, as well as unequal access to education and job opportunities. These ongoing issues of systemic racism and inequality continue to impact the African American community and should be recognized and addressed.


In conclusion, while Black History Month serves as an important reminder of the contributions and achievements of African Americans, it is not sufficient to recognize the full history and experiences of the African American community. Rather than limiting the recognition of African American history to a single month, it is important to fully integrate this history into mainstream historical narratives and recognize the ongoing struggles and experiences of the African American community. By doing so, we can work towards a more inclusive and equitable society for all.



https://www.aacounty.org/departments/planning-and-zoning/cultural-resources/Heritage-Resources/African-American-Heritage/Civil-Rights-Era


This page serves as a valuable resource for understanding and recognizing the significant role that African Americans have played in the Anne Arundel county's history and the ongoing struggle for civil rights.

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