Here’s why it’s important to celebrate Black history outside of February


Courtesy of Oladimeji Odunsi on Unsplash

While February is the designated time to remember and celebrate Black history, according to Iowa State students, Black History should be celebrated all year round.

Kaitlyn Richardson

The end of February marks the end of the recognized celebration of Black History Month. People of many races question if with it ends the deserved recognition of Black history and culture.

An article from ABC News, The importance of black history and why it should be celebrated beyond February, discusses that the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) has been fighting since its founding to keep people celebrating beyond the month of February.

“ASALH, which holds events to promote and celebrate Black history all throughout the year, said the organization has made major gains toward promoting African American history to a wider audience, but there are still too many who only recognize Black history during the month of February and ignore it for the rest of the year,” the article said.

Kameren Havard, a freshman in chemical engineering at Iowa State, discussed an approach he feels society should take going beyond the month of February.

“I would say that they [society] could consider doing more for the Black community and try to see it from an African American point of view,” Havard said.

Samuel Bowen, a sophomore in culinary food science, finds a lot of personal meaning to the concept of Black History Month.

“Black History Month for me is a time as a Black man to be proud as we see the achievements and history of our Black ancestors that came before us,” Bowen said. “When I think of Black history, I see strength, progress, perseverance and progress. During this month, we highlight the victories that came even through discrimination and hatred.”

Havard also recognizes the challenge that exists with encouraging celebration beyond Black History Month.

“In my opinion, I would say that it is hard to have this outside of Black History Month because not many people in our world see that black and white people are equal,” Havard said. “Also, just imagine if we do try to do something outside of holidays; I don’t think people would stick with it.”

Beyond that, this effort would have to be a collective one.

“You would have to get a lot of the majority of the community to try to help out black people because there would also be segregation whether we like it or not,” Havard said. “Sometimes they would try to white wash some situations.”

Bowen feels that the concept of Black History Month has much more importance and meaning than many people realize.

“Although Black History Month is a time of celebration, it is a movement,” Bowen said. “We need to see the beauty in our darkest and be proud of the privilege I have to represent a strong race. The color of my skin is not a disability. It is my history.”