Every year, the month of February is dedicated to celebrating African American excellence and honoring Black people’s contributions throughout American history. Black History Month, which started out as a week-long celebration in 1926 initiated by historian Carter G. Woodson, has become an official month-long celebration of African American history. We invited Ginger Jeffery, a graduate fellow of the Racial Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Science Education project, to tell us what Black History Month means to her.
I think the most valuable thing about Black History Month is allowing students and others the opportunity to learn about the contributions and progress that African Americans have made to society. I believe the most challenging thing about Black History Month is explaining the importance of Black History month and why it should still exist and be taught and celebrated.
Black History Month means acknowledging African Americans' contributions and understanding the plight of African Americans. History has not always been taught fairly, making it seem as though African Americans did not contribute to society during the 18th or 19th century, but that is far from the truth. Black History is American History. Some people ask why should Black History should be celebrated or have its month because it is American History. Still, it is crucial to recognize all activists, leaders, and trailblazers who have often been left out of textbook conversations and are not always acknowledged for their achievements.
Growing up in school, the only times I heard about African Americans' accomplishments was during Black History Month. There was no other mention of African Americans during the school year except in February. However, my family always made sure that I learned about many important people like Garrett A Morgan. Black History Month is important because it celebrates our ancestors past and present who have worked hard to fight for justice, equality, and the advancement of all people in their professional and personal lives.
Learn more about the Racial Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Science Education project:
Ginger Jeffery is a doctoral candidate in educational leadership and administration at Jackson State University. Hear about her work in addressing HIV/AIDS health disparities, her advice regarding antiracism in science education, and more about her work on the Racial Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity in Science Education project in Ginger Jeffery's Work in Public Health and HIV/AIDS Research.