Black History Month | Teen Ink

Black History Month

August 12, 2010
By mudpuppy BRONZE, Orangeburg, South Carolina
mudpuppy BRONZE, Orangeburg, South Carolina
2 articles 0 photos 475 comments

Favorite Quote:
Life is like a box of cheese and flower petal sometimes it's soft and sweet, sometimes it just plain stinks. - M.J.

What is black history month? Many have the insight to see it as the month about African-Americans and to do research projects on them. Others may say that it’s just a month, no different from all the other eleven. Well, there was a time in my life when I believed each of the above views. Then as I grew older, I saw past the limelight of glitz and glamour that surrounded this time of the year. I began to ask myself questions, such as “what is this all about?” Black history month has to be more than book reports, presentations, and projects. As I dug into the blood-and-guts of the second month of the year, I realized that it’s way more a than two-page essay on Diana Ross.

February is the month of agony, oppression, and honor. It’s the season of struggles and rises to glory. Images of those who fought tooth and nail for what is moral sprang into my head. It mirrors an epic period, more victorious and grotesque than any fable of fiction. Tales of malice and slaughter reduce me to tears of sorrow. In my youth, I had no knowledge of this satanity; events that occurred before my birth and didn’t directly involve me was all I distinguished it as. I was blinded by ignorance to see that February was the occasion when ancient wounds sometimes fester.

However, the month succeeding January can be an opportunity for compassion. People can take the time out to try to understand one another. The historical sores may be too tender to touch, but love can heal any wound. Unless someone invents a time machine anytime soon we can’t change what happened in the past. In the past, I didn‘t give it much thought; for I wasn’t a part of the problem; but I would like to now be a part of the solution. With a little sympathetic feeling, this month can be an episode of exaltation and forgiveness.

Black history month is a milestone for self-awareness. You can take a few lessons from the yesteryear to unveil where you are going to journey today. I unearth my “self” while doing an assignment for my fifth grade teacher by constructing a booklet of famous African-Americans in alphabetical order by surname. Every detail of their lives appeals to a part of me I didn’t know I possess. Those who this month honors deserve to have their grief displayed for all the world to witness. The idea finally sank in that this month was about taking a photograph of days gone by to make a portfolio of what is to be in the decades to come.

My notion of black history has ripened as I have matured. I now sense a deeper connection to the scars of my forefathers. Though February is the shortest month of the year, it is far from being the least noteworthy. It is about time shed the old ways of life and metamorphose with a new feeling of accomplishment. As a young person in this day in age, I established a taste for this Afro-American month. The second month of the year is not just the dreaded “month of projects.”

The author's comments:
A black history essay I wrote for English.

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