Celebrating Black History Month: A Look Back in Time
February is a time to celebrate African American history and the contributions of black people throughout the centuries. As we look back in time, it’s important to remember that Black history is not just about slavery or civil rights. It’s also about celebrating black culture and accomplishments. From music to sports, literature to science, art to politics—black people have made significant contributions that are worth remembering and honoring. Let’s take a look back at some of those highlights from the past.
The Harlem Renaissance
The 1920s ushered in a new era of BLACK culture known as the Harlem Renaissance. During this period, African Americans flocked to northern cities like New York City and Chicago, where they created vibrant communities filled with art, music, and literature. Jazz was particularly popular during this period; Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington were two of the most popular jazz performers of the day. Visual arts were also popular during this era; Jacob Lawrence was one of the most famous painters during this period and his works are still celebrated today.
Civil Rights Movement
The Civil Rights Movement was an integral part of Black history in America. This movement began with Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus in 1955 and continued through numerous protests, marches, sit-ins, boycotts, speeches, rallies, court cases — all aimed at achieving equal rights for BLACK people in America. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Medgar Evers and other civil rights activists were instrumental in leading this movement that ultimately resulted in major changes such as desegregated schools and public spaces as well as federal legislation designed to protect BLACK citizens from discrimination.
Black Panther Party
The Black Panther Party (BPP) was founded by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale in 1966 with the goal of fighting for civil rights for black people across America. The BPP was known for its militant stance against racism and police brutality as well as its commitment to community service programs such as free breakfast programs for children living in poverty-stricken areas. Although the organization disbanded by 1982 due to internal tensions within its ranks, its legacy lives on today through organizations like Black Lives Matter who continue to fight for racial justice around the world.
And let’s not forget today African Americans continue to break barriers and make strides that are transforming society as we know it. Just the last few years alone have manifested groundbreaking accomplishments from Black leaders across multiple fields such as politics (President Barack Obama, Vice-President Kamala Harris and SCOTUS Justice Ketanji Brown), music (John Batiste is one of 11 all time black artists to win Album of the year at the Grammys), sports (Simone Biles - performed a never before seen in competition Yurchenko double pike vault), literature (Percival Everett a 2022 National Book Critic Circle Award nominee), and much more. There is no doubt that these incredible individuals are paving the way for generations of young people who will one day take their place in history as well.
Ideas of How to Celebrate
We can be proud of our heritage and what we have achieved throughout history! This February let us honor our ancestors by celebrating black culture: listen to some jazz or blues music; watch films about African American cinema; attend lectures on Black history; read books written by African American authors (such as The 1619 Project); visit museums dedicated to preserving our heritage; participate in protests against injustice – whatever it takes! You can even visit the National Park Service website here to find National Parks dedicated to civil rights-related parks! Let us come together this month not only celebrate but also use our collective strength spread awareness about our rich cultural heritage! Happy Black History Month!