Black History Month will always be important


Sloane Samberson, Managing Editor

In an interview with Fox News regarding the boycott of the Oscars lack of diversity, actress and Fox News contributor Stacey Dash said she thinks the boycott is, “Ludicrous…Either we want to have segregation or integration, and if we don’t want segregation, then we need to get rid of channels like Black Entertainment Television (BET) and the BET Awards, and the Image Awards where you are only rewarded if you are black.”


Indirectly taking a stab at African-American actress Jada Pinkett Smith and film maker Spike Lee who are the predominant faces of the Oscar boycott, Dash continued with an even bolder statement: “There shouldn’t be a Black History Month.”


She justifies her statement by saying that there shouldn’t be a Black History Month because there isn’t a White History Month, let alone any other month devoted to a specific race. In America, ever since colonization, every month has essentially been “White History Month.”


Maybe Dash forgot, or wasn’t paying attention in history class when her teacher talked about all the strife African-Americans went through because of Caucasians, specifically white men. For over 200 centuries African-Americans were enslaved, from the time the Dutch brought African-American slaves to Virginia in 1619 until 1865 when the 13th Amendment was adopted, officially ending slavery. Even then, and to this day, African-Americans still face discrimination.


Yes, our four Founding Fathers faced strife, but never discrimination. Our Founding Fathers and colonists fought brutal wars to gain independence from Great Britain and suffered through times like the Great Depression, but never were they enslaved or discriminated against because of the color of their skin.


Logically, no matter your skin color, it shouldn’t make you any less of a person. Everyone was born with the same natural rights, and there is no biological difference from someone who has skin of ivory, skin of gold or skin of hazel. No race is better than the other – we are all synonymous.


So for Dash and others who think Black History Month is unnecessary, I will remind you why Black History Month is celebrated and of its importance.


Black History Month is a time to celebrate a culture has contributed greatly to the diversity of our world. African-Americans have impacted the development of art, technology, sciences, world trade, religion, politics and philosophy. For those who like rap, R&B, jazz music and street dancing – African-Americans created those too.


Some specific examples of African-American’s influence on our world, specifically the United States, include:


Yes, all races have contributed to our world – that’s the beauty of diversity – but what is incredible for African-Americans is that despite their lengthy enslavement, brutal treatment and discrimination, they kept on fighting, and look where they are now.


So that is why we celebrate Black History Month, as a remembrance of the strife they went through, but overcame, and as an appreciation for their culture and global contributions.


All in all, Dash’s statement was ignorant, and contradictory considering she is African-American herself (remember Dionne from Clueless, yeah, that’s Dash). Her intentions may have been to promote “equality” by not singling out a celebratory month for a specific race, but for all that African-Americans have gone through and are still going through, Black History Month is well deserved.


Maybe Black History Month wouldn’t be necessary if all races lived in unity and equality, but sadly that is not the case.
So for Dash, and those against Black History Month, you may want to rethink your stance and reeducate yourself on the facts, and face the reality of the still ever-presence of racism and inequality.