Occasions 365

Black History Month

A time to reflect on African American history

Each February is known as Black History Month. During this month, people all across the United States take time out of their daily lives to celebrate the important black people in our country's history. February marks the time when we celebrate such occasions as Superbowl Sunday and Valentine's Day, but it's also when schools all across our great nation teach the stories of Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, and most notably, Martin Luther King. Students hear famous Black History Month quotes and speeches made renowned by these influential black leaders and activists.

During Black History Month, most communities offer a wide variety of Black History Month activities in which families can participate. Television networks play shows and movies dedicated to black heritage and black history. Most video rental locations will dedicate a section to African-American cinema, and book retailers will create displays to honor black writers.

Why Stop at One Month?

Black history is not to be remembered only during the month of February. While February is the month in which black heritage is given national recognition, the remainder of the year should be dedicated to our country's rich history as a whole. This includes the histories of all the colors and creeds that call America home.

You can recognize Black History Month in your own home by spending some time talking to your family about the great black Americans of the past and outlining some of the important events that took place during the Civil Rights Movement. Consider donating funds to your favorite African-American charity. You may also enjoy throwing a Black History Month party; invite your guests to bring along anything they'd like to share celebrating a particular figure in black history, from Langston Hughes to Oprah. Serve traditional African and African-American foods and play music by black artists from every era. Your guests will enjoy the camaraderie and companionship and will likely go home with some extra knowledge and a new appreciation for black heritage.

No matter how you choose to celebrate Black History Month this year, it's vital to acknowledge our ancestry as a nation all year long. Whether we're black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Arab or Native American, we all share the same country, and its history is our history. Take some time to recognize the leaders and activists during every era of American history, and celebrate the ways this great nation came to be!

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