Black history revered

Black History Month is an annual observance celebrating the African American men and women throughout history who took a risk and paved the way for future generations.

Dr. Carter G. Woodson, a historian, author and journalist was the first to ponder why history books mostly ignored the black population in American. He noticed that when blacks did appear, it only reflected the inferior social position they were assigned at the time.

Woodson was ambitious, he had already accomplished so much in his life, and in 1912 he earned his Ph.D. in history from Harvard University, making him the second African American to earn a Harvard doctorate at the time.

In 1915 he established the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History to continue his efforts to not only write about the achievements made by African Americans but to write them in history and give them the respectable presence they deserved.

Woodson launched Black History awareness in 1923 in order to bring national attention to the efforts and contributions of black people throughout American history. It was first known as Negro history week and eventually it became what we know it as today.

It was celebrated the second week of February because both Frederick Douglas and Abraham Lincoln had birthdays in that week, both Douglas and Lincoln had a great influence in the black American population.

Harriet Tubman showed great courage when she escaped from slavery in 1849 and conducted more than 300 slaves to freedom on the Underground Railroad.

When Harriet Beecher Stowe’s anti-slavery novel, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” was published in 1852, it sold more than 300,000 copies in the Unites States and over a million in Britain, becoming one of the most influential books.

Rosa Parks also showed courage when she refused to give up her seat to a white passenger in 1955 and Martin Luther King Jr. with his infamous “I Have a Dream” speech captivated everyone and still does today.

While these are only a few, there is a plethora of African Americans whose courage, ambition, struggle and search for equality is why we have diversity, inclusion and equal rights today.

“To me, black history means we are giving homage or we are giving respect to people who struggled and possibly suffered for us in the future to have equal rights and have a shot at the American dream,” said student Rhonda Ishekwene.

Black history, as well as any kind of history, cannot only be observed in one month. Respect and gratitude should be given daily to those who came before us, who not only had the courage to stand alone and fight for what they believed in, but to make change that we should all be grateful for today.

Black history month symbolizes perseverance, and even when all odds were against African Americans, they pushed through and made people see that one person can make a change and inspire others to follow. “History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again,” Maya Angelou.