A few weeks ago, I was asked to write a blog post for Black History Month. "Sure!" I replied. But when I sat down to write, the immensity of the task struck home. It's such a huge topic to cover in a post . . . for sure, many would appreciate the information, but would there be those who would question why we even have black history month? The following is my heartfelt attempt to answer this question.
I grew up in Kansas in the late 50s and 60s. My sister and I were each the only African-American students in our elementary school classes. When we opened our textbooks, there was no mention of contributions of African-Americans to the advancement of this country. As we turned the pages of our history books, there were no pictures of people that looked like us, no scientists, no noteworthy doctors, no educators . . . So we began early on to internalize a sense of inferiority and "less than." We had to make a concerted effort to rise above the expectations of our teachers and to excel.
A lot has changed since my sister and I were in elementary school. In my granddaughter's sixth grade text books, much attention is given to the valuable contributions that African-Americans have made to this country. The newer textbooks record the election of the first black President of the United States, and many other firsts. It's undeniable that much progress has been made. So, all is well, right?
Check out the entire post.