Black History Month is a month where we celebrate achievements of African Americans and remember important events in the African American culture.
Many countries celebrate Black History Month including United States, United Kingdom, and Canada. This celebration takes place to commemorate African Americans that have suffered a lot mostly because of discrimination. Through many different achievements, African Americans have made substantial, long-lasting impacts to our society.
Martin Luther King Jr., was one of the people who stood up for his rights and made a significant change. He was a Baptist minister, social activist, and leader of the civil rights movement; most importantly, he was a dreamer. He was very well known for his speech “I Have a Dream” on August 28, 1963. During this speech, he enlightened people with the knowledge to know how things should be in the world with all types of races. He wished for this world to be integrated, where white and black children could be together without no discrimination. He desired for people not to be judged by the color of their skin. Unfortunately, King was assassinated during one of his speeches. However, his legacy will always continue. In today’s society, we honor him by having a holiday in respect of his memory.
Similar to Martin Luther King Jr. Malcolm X was also fighting for the same rights. He was known as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, Malcolm was a human rights activist and a African American Muslim minister. Unlike Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X wanted African Americans to fight violently for their rights. His influence on people during those times was so great that he helped increase the members of Islamic Religion from 400 to 40,000 members. Malcolm specialized in dismembering the notorious group known as the Ku Klux Klan. This group was in charge of making Africans Americans’ lives miserable by destroying their homes and threatening their lives. Similar to King, Malcolm X was assassinated on February 21, 1965 in Manhattan. And yet, he still lives on through his daughter Ilyasah Shabazz and her speeches.
However, not everyone has the same beliefs of Black History Month. Some view this month as a month where the discrimination begins to increase, due to the majority of people referring to Africans as blacks or negroes. According to Morgan Freeman, an actor, film director, and a narrator, he views Black History Month as being ridiculous. He believes that people should stop celebrating Black History Month in order to end racism. In his interview he said, that there should be no Black History Month because there is no such thing as a White month or an Asian month which causes many people to address them by the way they look.
Many people have important views about Black History Month and believe that it had a significant impact on our society. John Ibarra, senior at APB said, “When I think about Black History Month many thoughts come to my mind. I start to think about baseball players like Jackie Robinson and activist like Martin Luther King Jr. I believe that African Americans had a huge impact in our society because it brings a lot of pride to one’s culture.” Similar to John’s idea Victor Perez, junior at APB said, “When it’s Black History Month I start to think of activist like Martin Luther King Jr. fighting for equal rights going through lots of trouble so everyone could be treated fairly. I believe African Americans have impacted our society in a significant way because now all the races can engage with each other without any problem.” How do you think African Americans have impact our society? Did it benefit us as a whole or create more subliminal discrimination?