What if people treated BHM like one of the major holidays?

BY: KIARRA DELOUIS

Respect the Month of Melanin

Black History Month is the celebration of those who have fought for, and continue to fight for, freedom, liberty and happiness in a country that continues to make it difficult for Black people to live.

As I’ve gotten older, Black History Month has seemed to become a second thought for many people.

I wonder, is it that hard to press pause on homework, exams and other GPA-related responsibilities to, instead, focus on the people who made this country what it is today? White history is so dominant that Black people have to work ten times harder than white people to achieve the same success, like getting a job or graduating college.

If there’s anything I’ve learned in elementary school, it’s that 1492 and Groundhog Day are worth celebrating. America was shaped by the hands and labor of Black people, with an absence of compensation or thankfulness. It is for this reason that BHM is equally, if not more, important than other major holidays, such as Thanksgiving, Halloween or The Fourth of July.

From East Coast to West, Black lives matter more than ever. It is important that this is taught early on in life, given that the sooner one is exposed to something, the more normalized it becomes.

What if we lived in a world where BHM was treated like one of the major holidays? Would there be less crime and more love in the month of February? Or would it not change anything at all? Would other cultures feel excluded, or would they be understanding of the Black celebration, and give it the respect it deserves? 

Every year we settle for second place. This is disappointing, and it downplays all that we have overcome. BHM is just as important as the man who sneaks down the chimney, and it’s time we start to see this at work, school and everywhere else, despite our busy lives.

Do Black lives only matter when death is involved? Failure to educate younger generations about the importance of properly recognizing and commemorating those who fought for them - before they were even born - will only continue to whitewash young, undeveloped brains.

Black history is America’s history, and February is the least that America can give Black people. Black history isn’t something that can be summed up in just one month.