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Is Black History Month Effective in 2012?

It's Black History Month but some call the celebration irrelevant while other say it does not accomplish the goal of recognizing the history of people of African descent in this country. Tell us what you think in our poll and in comments.

 

Black History Month got its start as Negro History Week in 1926 when an educator named Carter G. Woodson set out to recognize black history’s important role in the American story. Fifty years later, Negro History Week became Black History Month.

But now, more than 85 years after the first celebration of black history, some critics argue that Black History Month is no longer relevant. On her Huffington Post blog, Akilah Bolden-Monifa called it a “farce” and argued that advertisers and book publishers have commercialized the celebration to boost sales of everything from books to liquor.

“Black History Month has become a ready-made excuse to ignore African-American history and contributions for the other 11 months of the year,” Bolden-Monifa said. “It's little more than a bone to throw to us.”

Black History Month is richly celebrated in Atlanta at contests, galas and film festivals, but would Woodson recognize the 2012 celebration of black history?

Or has his goal of recognizing black contributions to history been elevated to a reminder that racism and prejudice should have no place in today’s America?

Share your thoughts with us in comments.

Douglas Demetrius Prather February 06, 2012 at 12:49 PM
Yes not only is it effective, it is also necessary in that it forces us to pause and recognize in a tangible way the contributions of American American's and presence within the fabric of our country. Rev. Douglas Demetrius Prather
M Jackson February 07, 2012 at 02:59 AM
I'm not sure what people are thinking when they say it is irrelevant. Of course we should be thinking about the contributions of our people all 12 months but having a special month (even the shortest one!) is an opportunity to educate the masses. They can then take that education and remember and build on it for the rest of the year. Some won't do that, and yes, it has gotten commercial but what, exactly was it before? It was no recognition or educational awareness at all.
Yolande M. Minor February 07, 2012 at 12:34 PM
I can hear the argument now in the 1950's: Why challenge the status quo? Nothing is going to happen. It is irrelevant. We would still be sitting on the back on the buses, today. We would still be drinking from different water fountains, and no one would care about our vote...If we lived by this mentality today, and did not have and learn from Dr, King, Rosa Parks, Medgar Evers, or KIng Tut. Our History would die, especially the oral History. We need to remember Our History every day. One month is not long....however it is an effort to keep Our History, ALIVE. How is it that we must pass a test on a European-American History, however, can others pass a test on African-American History? Which is more relevant or are both as relevant?

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