Each February, the United States pays respects to the challenges that the black community has endured and overcome to receive the same freedoms that other races have grown accustomed to for centuries. United States school textbooks have summarized decades of oppression with heroic figures like Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., and the Little Rock Nine. To earn this recognition, African Americans spent centuries fighting and persevering through adversity. black history month, celebrating the achievements of the black community, cost many their lives, their families, their homes, and their friends.

As we respect and acknowledge the pain and suffering that we inflicted upon each other (or pretend that all is solved), remember how these changes were made. Remember the marches, the media, the presidents, the boycotts, and the speeches that moved history closer to equality. Remember all of this as you reflect on the women’s march, the march for immigration, the march for science, and so many other important peaceful protests.

We are not done

Children born in the United States, who have never known any other country as home, are being sent to countries their relatives fled from in fear of tyrannical governments. Men and women who have tirelessly persevered through many years waiting and studying and begging to earn citizenship are being rejected while angry lawmakers call them murderers and rapists.

These lawmakers’ lineages all trace back to other countries because the only people who are actually true-blooded Americans are natives that were forced off their land and neatly packaged to small reservations scattered across the country.

Women marched peacefully last month for the second year in protest of sexism, rape culture, objectification, wage gaps, gender roles, and prejudice as the current president celebrates the second year in office, despite bragging about sexually assaulting women.

They march amid a scandal with more than 150 victims of one perverted doctor and amid thousands of other sexual assault trials that are overlooked and ignored because they lack the proof or solidarity of just the right number of others.

Protests now, history later

February is the month in which this country is meant to acknowledge what we did wrong in the past and to apply it to the present and future.

It is one effort to ensure that history doesn’t repeat itself. It is also a reminder to many that this country is still not done. Every man, woman, and child is not viewed equally in this country. Police brutality, repealed policies, tax bills, and vicious poverty cycles prove that this country is still bleeding and hurting. Black lives matter. The road to change--through peaceful protesting and relentless public outcry--is just as effective, important, valid, and sad now as it was during the Civil Rights Movement. How will this time look in history books one day?

We are not done.