The Impact of Black History Month

February is Black History Month, but the contributions of BIPOC Americans should be celebrated all year. February is the month in which the nation has agreed to specifically highlight the contributions made throughout history.

I am taking this opportunity to speak on being a Black family living in a predominantly White community. February is the month in which my daughter feels uncomfortably focused on in school. This month, teachers take the opportunity to specifically ask her how historical experiences make her feel.

This is something she has dealt with her entire school life, as our family has always lived in a community in which we are a minority. We made this choice because the educational opportunities are vast and challenging. For the most part, we would not change a thing; then February rolls around.

Please do better.

Black history month

Community and Conversation

Open, honest, and transparent conversations are a necessary part of growth and understanding. Having the hard conversations can be challenging at times, but why would a student be leery of the approach of Black History Month? Last month we had the conversation that February is coming. We discussed the types of questions that she knows will be specifically directed to her.

For example, questions like asking a young Black student how slavery and/or segregation made him/her feel. These students were not alive during the actual events, so they cannot speak of any direct feelings relating to those circumstances. All students should be able to speak on the inequality and complete lack of respect for human life that these historical acts represented; this is not a Black student-specific question.

Black History Month is not a pass to make minority students feel uncomfortable. This is probably not a perspective that is often articulated. The popular opinion is that the inclusion of these lessons are a positive move in the direction of inclusivity. This is not necessarily true. ALL year, we should teach ALL history. This would be the most equitable approach to US history.

In addition, sensitivity training should be included for staff members, so that students aren’t made to feel singled out. For example, are teachers asking their Caucasian students how they feel about their ancestors being slave owners? Why ask your Black students how they feel about their ancestors being enslaved?

Please do better.  

Hyper-Focused on Equality

February is also the month in which hyper-focus is placed on “equality.” Equality is a slippery slope and is never quite equal for the person or groups that are underrepresented. These groups, if given the “same” opportunities, may still face a deficit. They are often struggling with other adversities that will keep them further burdened.

As previously mentioned, the focus should be on equitability, which can only be achieved with an uninterrupted commitment to open-mindedness and doing the work. An equitable world will never be achieved by hyper-focusing on one group, one month of the year.

The focus should be on balancing the scales, which begins with a determination of what is keeping them unbalanced. The righting of those inequalities will be the beginning of the journey that leads to the equity that we should all seek. For transparency, this equity is not only about race. Unfortunately, the world holds many examples of inequity. More specifically: gender, age, sexual orientation, etc.

Please do better.  


We should definitely honor Black history, but we must ask ourselves how we define honor. To utilize the Merriam Webster definition of honor (verb):to regard or treat (someone) with admiration and respect : to regard or treat with honor.” Treatment with admiration and respect is not cyclical. It does not align with a specific month out of the year.

Truly honoring something is holding it in high regard everyday, every month, and every year. Honor is telling the tales of courage and truth. Telling the tales with an uncolored eye and an overall respect for ALL history.

Black history is not only a “month,” it is a journey—a journey that leads us to what the contributions of BIPOC Americans throughout history have been working toward: EQUITY.

Please reach out to me via Facebook or Instagram to connect or with any questions. For more on Black history, read about how Jillian is exposing her children to Black culture.


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