Black History Month: Remember the Past, Enjoy the Present, Look Forward to the Future

By Chantel Carnes on February 7, 2013

Celebrate! Appreciate! Recognize!

Black History Month is a time for celebration, appreciation, and recognition. We celebrate the good, recognize the bad, and appreciate the progress. Some people confuse the meaning of Black history month. It is not made to mourn or grieve over the past. Although the past was tragic and horrific, it is a time to acknowledge what African Americans have endured, but also more importantly it is a time to take pride in the culture of African Americans and appreciate everything that we were and have become.

Important people and groups like Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, the NAACP, and the Freedom Writers helped African Americans gain their rights and should be appreciated.

People and events like Emit Till, Rodney King, the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and the Little Rock 9 are tragic events that should be recognized as heartrending situations that led to successful changes within our world. Remembering the past is a good way to stay close to the truth, but also as an eye opener as to how much the world has changed since then.

The world is not perfect and racism still exists, but African Americans have come so far since the 19th century. There have been drastic changes and we have progressed so much. We now have Barack Obama as the first African American president in the United States. We can also celebrate that some of the most successful people in the music and film industry are African American.

February 1st is the start of Black History Month and although it is only twenty eight days, no one should be counting. It is not about the number of days, but how people choose to honor important groups and people that contributed to the improvement African Americans have made in the world. It is important to remember that in the end, Black History Month is about celebrating the good, recognizing the bad, and appreciating the progress.

We should all take this time to remember the past events that occurred, enjoy the present advancements African Americans have made, and look forward to the future of great things to come.

I am currently a Sophomore majoring in Journalism and minoring in Criminal Justice at SFSU. I have a passion for writing and debating. I plan to receive my BA in journalism, go to law school, work my way up in the world of news/sports/entertainment broadcasting, work as a criminal lawyer, and hopefully one day own my own magazine company!

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