OPINION: Black history is American history


Annika Pepper

Even though black history is a factor in American history, it doesn’t have much of a presence in the classroom. Instead of cramming so much important information into one month, black history should be taught throughout the school year along with the rest of the required history standards.

If there is anything I have learned this past Black History Month, besides the fact that some people don’t even know when Black History Month is, it’s that this topic seems to go untaught in the classroom.

Black History Month has been celebrated since 1926, and yet almost 90 years later it is still very underrated. This is supposed to be a celebration of the ones before us and their achievements, and to show everyone who doubts black people that they have done so much for themselves. But it is impossible to compact 400 plus years of history into only one month. This is history meant to be taught all year long, and the fact that it is not is terrible.

I am tired of hearing that the reason black history is not more incorporated within American history is that there is not much of it due to the time period. It makes it seem like it is just a lighter way of saying it’s because African Americans have not done that much for the American people as a whole. The history of African Americans is as much a part of American history as any piece of white history.

As a black person in America, I hate feeling as if this important part of history isn’t important enough for me to learn about.

The history of African Americans is as much a part of American history as any piece of white history.

— Staff Writer Jordan Owens

The fact is that even though black people have done so much for this country, many are just now getting the recognition they deserve.

One person who exemplifies this is Katherine Johnson. This black woman did the mathematics needed in order to send a man into space, but did she get credit for that when it happened in 1961? No, Katherine Johnson did not get the gratitude she deserved until 2015.  

When Black History is taught and incorporated in classrooms, it is either whitewashed or only referred to when slavery and civil rights are discussed. Though those are two key points that everyone should know, African Americans were not only there during those time periods.

Black people were present during the Great Depression suffering with the rest of America. They were there during Industrialization, inventing tools that are still used today, and they were there during every war that involved America fighting for our country like everyone else. Any major event that involves America, black people were there, so why aren’t we talking about that?

Why can’t we learn about the first black general, Gen. Daniel James Jr., or the first black field officer in the U.S. Army who also became the first line officer in U.S. Army history, Major Martin Robison Delany?

While studying the Industrialization, why can’t we learn about African Americans like Burridge and Marshman, who invented the typewriter, or Alice H. Parker, who improved the heater to be what it is today? Why are we not talking about all these African Americans who helped create all the tools that we use today?

We, as Americans, have to do better.

We cannot ignore the black part of American history. Given the progress this country has shown, there should be no such thing as segregation in the history we learn.

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