Why we need more than a month for “black history”

Every February, Black History Month, Americans engage in a futile attempt to squeeze into 28 days the history of a people whose tribulations, contributions and successes are on every page of the American narrative. For African Americans, at least, the struggle to tell our story and make sense of our place in the American saga never recedes from view.

Understanding who we are and why we have suffered so much in this country are something like existential questions that wax and wane, coinciding with the peaks and valleys of anti-Black racism. Are we more than the identities and labels people have given us? Is there more to our narrative than the whip and the chain?

More HERE.

We barely know white American history, in all honesty. Then, we have whites getting mad that there is a “black history month.” Just learning history would serve us well. Allowing ourselves to hear voices beyond our own comfort and ethnicity would be enriching.

History is not “erased” when we remove statues no more than history is “altered” when we emphasize Native American voices, Black voices, or Hispanic voices to the story. We are far too fragile in this era and we need desperately to get over ourselves.

Don’t just read about Black history. Read Black authors in literature, history, politics, and religion. In the past few years I have been enriched theologically by Esau McCaulley, Richard Allen, James Cone, Howard Thurman, and Dennis Edwards to name a few. My deep admiration for literature has been awakened by Toni Morrison and Alice Walker in particular.

Let’s not limit our history or our learning by ethnicity, affinity, or by time. Just learn more widely.

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