Sunday, February 1, 2009

Black History Month

Today is the start of Black History Month. I've always been unsure how to honor this month. Typically I watch a couple films dealing with the struggles of African-Americans, and read a book or two by a great African-American Author.

This year I will focus on Jackie Robinson, and Barack Obama. Since both represent very historic "firsts," and Obama of course is a brand new first, I thought I should look there.

But I'm unsure. How is a white American to honor his month? How am I to properly respect and appreciate the history of African-Americans. What is the appropriate response?

That we must recognize and honor black history month, goes without saying. But we must do so appropriately, and properly.

This is an issue I shall have to reflect on. Any suggestions?

A final thought. Some express outrage at the fact that Black History Month takes place during the shortest month of the year. It might seem that African-Americans are somehow being snubbed by that.

But a little history clears up that misconception. Originally February was chosen because during the second week of February both Abraham Lincoln - who freed the slaves -, and Frederick Douglass - the great abolitionist and philosopher - were born.

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