By Aine White and Julia Masi, Grade 7
Harriet Tubman, Ruby Bridges, and Martin Luther King Jr. are all people that are part of the African American community and have played a significant role in our history. Many people have made outstanding achievements. However, during this month, Black History Month, we take the time to focus mainly on the accomplishments of African American people. We have been doing so since 1976.
It started when Carter G. Woodson proposed the idea of a Black History Week. Black History Week was made to encourage Black Americans to engage more in their history and heritage. It was established in 1926 on Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln’s birthdays. Many people started arranging celebrations, initiating history clubs, and holding lectures and performances. Five decades later, the Association for the Study of African American Life, or the ASALH, made that week into a month. It has since been labeled “Black History Month.”After the mid-1970s, every U.S. president had honored February as Black History Month.
Black people have immensely influenced our history. For example, Martin Luther King Jr. is one of the most influential black people of the 1950s through 60s. Many know of him. His famous speech, “I Have a Dream,” affected racial segregation. Many more in the African American community are very important to history. Rosa Parks is another one. Buses back then were separated by race. African Americans would sit in the back, while white people sat up front. Rosa sat in the show. A white man got on the bus and, infuriated, started to yell at her to give up her seat for him. She refused.
As stated earlier, the influence of African American people is significant. This month, Black History Month, we take our time to focus mainly on these achievements they have made. It’s not that we disregard anyone else’s accomplishments, but more so, we center our attention on the goals that African American people have reached.