Reflecting on Black History Month

Christina Yacoub ‘17
EE Co-Opinions Editor

IMG_2918Since the beginning of the era of exploration and colonialism, African Americans have struggled to establish equality. In the process, importantly, they created a rich history. From the foundation of the NAACP in 1909 to the election in 2008, inspiring and progressive figures have emerged. Although the United States has had an embarrassing history with racial inequality, we must remember the men and women who have tried to create a better world.

There is no shortage of men and women dedicated to creating a more just world. Some of the most prominent figures include Nat Turner, Frederick Douglas, Harriet Tubman, Booker T Washington, W.E.B Dubois, Frederick Douglas, Langston Hughes, Jackie Robinson, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X, Huey Newton and Bobby Seale (black panthers), Stokely Carmichael, and of course, the Obamas.

Within pop culture, African American athletes, artists, and other performers have organized a platform and made sure their voice is heard. With social media such as Twitter and Tumblr, it is significantly easier to spread opinions about injustices in our society.

The list of people risking their lives to provide a better future for the next generation is truly endless. Even before Rosa Parks, African Americans refused to give up their seats on buses to those who demanded them to leave.

There are a multitude of nameless individuals that were never given the attention they deserved. There are also many second class citizens not considered worthy of media spotlight. Despite their lack of fame, we recognize their existence and vitality to the equality movement.

President Trump stated  that “during this month, we honor the tremendous history of African-Americans throughout our country…their story is one of unimaginable sacrifice, hard work and faith in America.” Trump’s remark is well said and offers a positive outlook on the struggle endured in the past. Most celebrities tweeted negative statements following Trump’s speech; however, this quote is left uncontesded. There is unanimous agreement regarding the disturbing struggles endured by African Americans in this country.

February is Black History Month and a time for us all to reflect on the past and look toward the future.  Although the fight is not entirely over, the African American community has accomplished so much in the face of adversity. Ignorance, unfortunately, is prevalent and sometimes valued more than the truth.

However, the achievements of the past are not overlooked. We have come a long way, and hopefully in the future, inequality will be placed solely in history books. This month is dedicated to all the men and women who took action and proved their worth to this country. Without their courage and perseverance, the United States would not be the nation it is today.

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