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We need Black History Month

In response to those who ask, “Why do we need Black History Month,” I point to Texas, the state where they are attempting to remove mention from history books of the owning of slaves by the Founding Fathers. The very same place where they approved renaming the slave trade as the transatlantic trade, removing it from textbooks so that people will forget it ever happened.

I point to the thousands of black kids who don’t or aren’t taught early on about Fredrick Douglass or about the W.E.B Dubois versus Booker T. Washington debate. Or for those black kids who think that Booker T. was a wrestler. I think that Black History Month allows the country a moment to look at some commonly overlooked contributions from history and to recognize those contributions.

Those who criticize the celebration and highlighting remind me of American History X and the dad when he says, “So now we have to trade good books for black books?”

Like the two can’t be the same thing. It’s this mentality that persists and causes us to need Black History Month, not just for black students but for all of us.

For all the positive contributions black people have made through the centuries on this planet for this country, we should celebrate those accomplishments and use this month to highlight them, not criticize the recognition.

Nate Mims

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