THE BLOG

Time to Get Rid of Black History Month

02/08/2012 04:54 EST | Updated 04/09/2012 05:12 EDT
AP

February, besides being the shortest month of the year also happens to be Black History Month. A month where past achievements by blacks are recognized. Really? Why just this month? Are these achievements less important, less spectacular, or have less impact if recognized all year-long?

The Civil Rights movement fought against segregation for decades and now we're encouraging a part of history to be segregated? If you have children, it is always a good time to tell them about Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, and Langston Hughes. Not because they were black but because they were great. History books in schools should also follow that maxim, reminding students that great history is colourless.

Although not impossible, I'm not sure how Black History Month can continue to evolve. I always clutch my pearls when I read or hear Oprah Winfrey being described in various media platforms as "a black T.V. host" or when art is described as "black art." And, even if Barack Obama is black and also happens to be President of the United States of America, referring to him as a black president is retro. And not in a good way.

Everything about how we live today encourages the breakdown of all barriers. Sticking the colour of their skin to successful people is simply foolish. And that's exactly what Black History Month does.

I understand why Black History Month was first introduced and I applaud those who have made it the powerhouse it is today. Many large corporations have made it an important staple in their fiscal calendars, which is admirable. Still, I think it's time to rethink BHM. I look forward to the day when all great achievements will be celebrated all year long and when history will be measured by its impact, not by its colour.

Watch End Black History Month? on PBS. See more from Independent Lens.