The first thing I saw this morning when I opened Internet Explorer was this article on Black History Month.  The article basically discusses the varying feelings around there being a month dedicated to black history.  One of the things that I discovered from the article was that February being the designated month may not necessarily be the smack in the face that black people often to consider it to be.  Setting that aside I was left wondering why there is any debate at all.  

The necessity of Black History Month is undeniable simply because without it we would have to rely on thousands of indiviual public schools (and districts) to agree that black history is American history.  For some reason that idea seems to be a hard sell despite the fact that any idiot can understand that if the United States formed in 1776, then anything that happened here from then on is U.S. history.  Plus all the “history” that culminated in the actions taken that year (and on the specific date of February 4, 1776 when the first president was elected) are also part of U.S. history.  Black folk are involved in U.S. history from the early days of colonization, when blacks enjoyed a certain level of freedom on this land, through to Forest Whitaker being up for an Oscar this coming weekend. 

If we want to talk about American history in general there is compelling research out there from black scholars, including Ivan Van Sertima in his fascinating work They Came Before Columbus, that argue there was an African presence in the Americas long before Columbus found his way here.  But I digress.  My point is that there is a lot of black hisory that would be ignored if not for this month, and until black accomplishments are integrated into history books in a meaningful, accurate way, these 28 days of blackness have to be taken advantage of.  I’ll gladly support the end of Black History Month, but not before black history, and historians, are given the year-round prominence that both are currently lacking.