Black History Month Colors: Why Black Is the Color?
by Iren Keito on Feb 13, 2022
Black History Month is the month when the American community, as a nation, celebrates the achievements of African Americans. Why do Black people recognize these achievements, these contributions only one month a year?
And why are Black History Month Colors designated as "Black" history? When the historical contributions of kind people in Europe are discussed, there is no "white" history. This article will show why we should consider Black History Month an American holiday and should be celebrated by all races.
When is the Black History Month 2022?
February is Black History Month in the United States. Black History Month recognizes the contributions African-American men and women have made to the country. This is the month when school-age children start hearing Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech and can be given sheets with his picture to color and hang on the classroom wall.
The origins of Black History month can be traced back to the early 20th century. In 1925, Carter G. Woodson, an educator, and historian began campaigning among schools, magazines, and black newspapers called for a Negro History Week to be held.
This will respect the importance of Black achievements and contributions in the United States. He was able to celebrate this Negro History Week in 1926 during the second week of February. This time was chosen because the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass occurred later. Woodson was awarded the Spingarn Medal from the NAACP for his achievement. In 1976, Negro History Week turned into Black History Month that we celebrate today.
Black History Month 2022 is about to begin. This history month evolved to accommodate the limited history taught in schools and a broader lack of public awareness of the contribution of Blacks to American history. In an ideal world, this month would not be necessary, because educational institutions and national curricula would fully recognize and appreciate the contributions of Black people throughout history. Sadly, that is not the case.
Black History Month Colors
Why Black Is the Color?
The question here is why is Black history separated from American history? Wouldn't the fact that we add the color black and celebrate this history merely for one month out of the year would make African American history completely different from that of America as a nation? What caused African-Americans to be cut off from the history of their country because of their color?
One problem with Black History Month is that it must be learned outside the classroom of a professional history teacher. Isolated, one-off rallies or Black American history tutoring sessions in February, filled with a flurry of random information about Black American history, could easily be forgotten. If a social event or celebration happens to have any impact, it will create episodic memories where students remember how they felt rather than what they learned.
Teaching about Black history in the classroom with a history expert creates semantic memories based on what students remember. Schema-based learning - learning should fit into a broader curriculum where students are directed to relate new learning about Black history to other parts of American history. What is taught in the curriculum is chosen because it represents its importance? What is omitted from the main program, by its omission, is implied to be less important?
It is the hours of cumulative, unexciting classroom experience that shape students' understanding of the past, not one-off events. It undermines the seriousness of studying Black history if seen as separate from history learned every day in the classroom, something talked about in February, forgotten in March and rebuilt next year. As the African-American actor, Morgan Freeman put it: “You put my history down to a month… Black history is American history… which month is Jewish history?”
After so much conflict, the meaning of Black history is being rethought. Should Black History Month Colors be their own color or should the community see black as a color that blends in with the colors of America? If we consider it a part of American history, why should we label it as "Black only".
On the other hand, if we accept Black history as a common part of American history, why do we give it only 1/12 of a year to celebrate the contributions of the African American community? Instead of dividing the melanin factor as a way to label races, no matter good or bad since it can be. It's time we see black as an inherent color in the American picture.
Like American history, it should be celebrated by everyone regardless of skin color and for an unlimited time. That way, Black history will be recognized with its dedication throughout history and become a unified flow, throughout.
Other Black History Month Colors
The fact that February is called a "black" historic month makes many people think that black which symbolizes black people will be the main color of celebrations. However, the truth is that Black History Month colors are a combination of so many different colors that we can see them flourishing every February. Accompanying black, we can see green and red appearing on the pan-African flag, the Black History Month flag.
The Pan-African flag was created in 1920 to represent the people of the African Diaspora and to symbolize Black liberation in the United States. As flags symbolize the union of governance, people, and territory, this flag was created to give Black people in America and the world over a symbol that unifies the Diaspora. This tri-color flag consists of three equal horizontal bands colored Red, Black, and Green. These are the official Black History Month colors.
Every Black History Month color has its own meaning. The red color represents the bloodline that all the descendants of Africa share. This color also symbolizes the loss and sacrifice that Africans have suffered during colonization, enslavement, and later peace. Green, on the other hand, symbolizes prosperous African land. Not only represent the color of the skin of people of African descent, but the color black also implies for the people whose existence as a nation, though not a nation-state, is affirmed by the existence of the flag.
Since its existence, several African nations have adopted the colors as a symbol of sovereignty and unity. It has also been adopted by several Black organizations that carry on the fight towards justice and liberation for Black people.
Occasionally we will see yellow replacing black. This makes Black History Month colors less personal. Yellow symbolizes efforts, achievements, and hope for a better future. This flag color is also widely accepted and popularized by many non-African communities as an affirmation of the good qualities of black people. Black History Month colors apparently have found their own place in the global perspective. Soon, Black history will be recognized as an inescapable, incorruptible, and inalienable part of the common world history.
Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech seemed like the right choice when it came to teaching all things Black History. But, have we as a nation ever stopped to really listen to the words of his iconic speech? Dr. King said,
"I have a dream that one day this nation will rise and live the true meaning of its creed: ... that all men are created equal."
If we are to accomplish this goal, we must eliminate the notion that Black American history is in some way inferior to white American history and as such is only worth celebrating 28 days. We must overcome this divisive and discriminatory practice and embrace the equality of our history. In short, it's not Black History… it's simply history, general and objective history, America's history.