February marks African-American History Month. But, African-American history isn’t just exclusive to Black-Americans; it’s part of American history. It is one born of tragedy and brutality – millions of people ripped from their African homelands and forced to live like animals for centuries in a nation that prided itself on individual freedom. It continued with the struggles for dignity and self-respect, beginning with the abolitionist movement of the 1800s and on to the civil rights battles of the past half century. And, it brings us here now, the 21st century – where we have a strong African-American middle class and the nation’s first Black President, albeit half-Black.
Unfortunately, February is the shortest month of the year, but it’s better than nothing. I propose we move African-American History Month back to January. Kwanzaa ends on New Year’s Day, and January is the month we celebrate the birth of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.; perhaps the most iconic symbol of the modern civil rights movement. Eventually, though, I hope we can move African-American History Month off the calendar altogether and celebrate our national diversity as a people.