As we approach the annual celebration of black history, the anticipation can be intense for many Black Americans as preparations are made to pay homage to the accomplishments and contributions of other Black Americans throughout this nation's history. It has become a tradition that was created in 1926 by the renowned historian Dr. Carter G. Woodson as a week long celebration (referred to as Negro History Week). It had such a widespread effect that in 1976 the entire month of February was henceforth delegated in honor of what is now referred to as Black History Month. Although this has become an important event for millions of Black Americans, there is a much larger number of Americans (including some Black Americans) who frown quite heavily at the mere notion of this anticipated occasion.

A bittersweet platform

When Black History Month was initially implemented, it was during a time when, because of the separation among the races, the positive attributes and contributions of Black Americans were purposely left out of the history of America's progression, so the founding historians found it necessary to create a platform that would allow other Black Americans the privilege of knowing that we were far more than an inferior people. The question now is, is Black History Month still a necessary platform in today's society? For the majority of Black America, the answer is a profound yes, but for others, such as myself, it has become far more of a hindrance to the achievement of American equality than it ever was a building block.

Certainly, I would be the first to acknowledge that the many contributions of Black Americans are of vital importance, and as such, should not be ignored or undervalued, but to continue with this annual celebration as it is today, has a much grander implication of black separatism, which contradicts the original intention of its founder.

In today's society, it's no longer necessary to set aside any particular time of year that focuses primarily on any one race of American people. The historical accomplishments of Black Americans, as vital as they may be, are no more and no less important than the accomplishments of other prominent Americans.

If there's going to be an annual celebration of American history, it should be one that's inclusive to all Americans. We cannot on one hand give credence to our fight for equality, then on the other, condone even the mere implication of separatism.

The Kryptonite to separatism

For decades, millions have viewed Black History Month not only as an opportunity to remind us of the accomplishments of Black Americans, but it's also a disturbing and unsettling reminder of America's past horrors pertaining to racism. During this event, the honoring of the accomplishments of some of history's most renowned individuals are often accompanied by the negativity surrounding past events which serves no purpose except to reopen old wounds that only incite further racial tension among us.

If we're going to be a unified nation, then we must put America's past in perspective and direct our undivided attention to the here and now, and more importantly, the future. The solution to ending the separatism of Black History Month is for the American educational curriculum to include the relevant accomplishments of Black Americans with the same tenacious effort and regularity as it does for any other American. This would be perceived as a strong showing of equality within our educational system, which would inevitably become Kryptonite to this kind of separatism. The creation of Black History Month began because of the lack of education, so let us end it by ensuring that our school systems are educating our children with the entire truth concerning the history of America.

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