February 2022 Celebrates Black History Month

Daniela Navarrete, Editorial Writer

This month of February is Black History Month, a month dedicated to celebrating and honoring the many outstanding black people in our history that have made amazing contributions to our country and to humanity. While it may sound like a pretty straightforward holiday, that apparently isn’t always the case.

The Patriot Ledger, a newspaper based in Massachusetts, reported that a Catholic all-boys school in Massachusetts announced, “In honor of Black History Month, one way we will celebrate is by highlighting a traditional meal each week that is a staple in Southern Black history. Today’s lunch is fried chicken.”

Many students protested this decision, and rightfully so. Out of all of the diverse African cuisines there are, why choose fried chicken, a food that has long since been a way to portray black people in a degrading manner?

This calls for the question: What are the right ways to celebrate Black History Month? Luckily, there are many good options out there.

The main event here is to educate oneself as much as possible. Read books, articles, listen to podcasts, watch youtube videos- do as much as you can to learn more about black history and gain an appreciation for it.

Two good books to start with are the award winning The Warmth of Other Suns, by Isabel Wilkerson which is about the Great Migration and Assata: An Autobiography, by Assata Shakur, which is about Assata Shakur’s life as an activist.

Some podcasts about black history are Historically Black, Humanity Archive, and School Colors.

Learn about more than just three people. Yes, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and Harriet Tubman are all amazing historical figures; however, history has countless other black people that have made important contributions and are often forgotten about.

One way to do this is to keep an eye out for the section titled “‘This Day in History’ Black History Month” in the school bulletin, where everyday there is a new event from black history that took place on the current day of the year. It has featured people such as Ralph Bunche, the first African American to win a Nobel Prize and Robert Sengstacke Abbott, the founder of the newspaper Chicago Defender.

Learn about the history that has been erased and is often omitted from schoolbooks. The good, the bad, and the ugly: all of it is essential to giving black historical figures the honor and respect they deserve.

Also, the San Diego Public Library has events planned to celebrate this month, such as a student contest. According to the San Diego Union Tribune, kids in grade 4 to 12 can “submit an essay, poem, visual artwork, song, rap or other creative work. It should represent an event or figure from Black American history that influenced the student’s personal life or shaped the world.”

Lastly, it is important to remember not to do this only on holidays. These outstanding people deserve more than to just be on an Instagram post for likes. Really take time to learn, this month and every month of the year.