The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Without Black History, there is No History

Black History Month is a celebration and observance of African Americans as the founders and the backbone of this country. For decades, the month of February has been designated for honoring African American culture and their achievements, in the face of ongoing tribulations. During this month we show respect to the Black community by paying homage to their ancestors, who built this country from the ground up. 

The theme for Black History Month this year is “The Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity.” This theme shines light on events such as the African diaspora, which tends to fall to the wayside in American history. The diaspora was the driving force in the creation and cultivation of our world, and it deserves recognition not just this month, but for years to come. It focuses not only on past hardships, but the strength of African Americans who overcame adversity as a united front. 

The Black Family portrays a part of our history during which African Americans were unwillingly torn from their families. These families set the foundation for our history, and numerous aspects of everyday life in this country. The progress from a time where slavery was justified and African Americans suffered a negative image all the way to today shows the resilience and power of Black families. It would be remiss to celebrate this theme and forget the sacrifices they made during a dark time in our history. 

The diversity within the Black family has acquired different meanings over the years. African Americans have constantly experienced shifting family dynamics, but the idea of community and togetherness has always been cherished. In spite of years of socio-economic adversity in African American families, they constantly unite, allowing themselves to become stronger and base their identity on their triumphs, not their struggles. 

Contrary to historical belief African Americans, especially those who were slaves, were the true American heroes. When we celebrate Black History Month, we must recognize the many contributions that African Americans have devoted to their communities and to our society, from centuries ago to the present day. While this month is a time for appreciating Black culture, people of all races and ethnicities have a duty to show appreciation for the African American community beyond these few weeks. 

It is time for everyone to continue the tradition of educating themselves and honoring Black history, as it has been left out of the larger narrative of our country’s history for far too long. Without the bravery, sweat and tears of African Americans, our country would not be standing. If there was no Black history, there would be no U.S. history.

 

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