This is in response to Brian Eller’s “American history and black history: It’s one and the same.” Black history diverges far from American history in terms of perspective. While it is true that they are coinciding and interacting events that occurred on the same land; they are also two very different recollections resulting from cultures that experienced different realities. Recollections by the way, that results in significantly different points of view. Black History Month describes the history of African America, not America itself; and therefore, is often not incorporated with American history in our schools.
I ask you, Brian, why has the time come to end Black History Month? Because it depicts the immeasurable and unforgettable distress that my ancestors encountered as captive laborers? Because it appraises America’s first black supreme court justice? Because it recalls America’s first black astronaut? Because it reminisces the emergence of my culture in America’s racially-constricted society? Because it acknowledges my people’s increasing accomplishments in fields that we were once restricted from? Because it documents the contributions that black americans have made to this country?
Every February, we are celebrating our gradual progression in a society that once enslaved and oppressed us because of the color of our skin. It is the same society that continues to oppress people because of their gender, creed or sexual orientation despite it’s belief that “all men are created equal.” So to say that black history is the same as American history would be contradictory because we are remembering african american progression from a perspective of past, and in many cases, ongoing racial discrimination and oppression in American society. So you see, Brian, our histories are not similar at all; they just happened to be simultaneous.
Environmental engineering senior