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The Importance of Black American History to Me

For far too long, Black American History has been relegated to the margins of the American narrative, unjustly dismissed as “unimportant.” However, the truth is that Black American history and the contributions of Black people are integral to the fabric of the United States.

As a Black individual, how we express ourselves holds significant importance. We often find ourselves pressured to conform to “standard American English” that centers on racially motivated standards that, if not done, we risk being unfairly judged. However, it’s crucial to recognize that everyone possesses a unique linguistic identity.

Moreover, those who aren’t Black often have their distinct ways of addressing and referring to us, resorting to derogatory terms such as “ghetto” and “thugs.” Despite this, Black History Month is a cherished opportunity to celebrate Black excellence. It’s worth noting that many mistakenly perceive Black history solely through the lens of enslavement, when in reality, as early as the 1500s, Black explorers, whether enslaved or free, accompanied conquistadors in their endeavors.

Black history is a rich tapestry woven with remarkable stories and accomplishments. Attempts to erase these narratives are futile, for African Americans are vibrant individuals with untold stories of heritage finally being brought to light. We assert our humanity; we are achievers; we epitomize excellence, and above all, we possess a voice. This is why Black History Month should be celebrated and revered—a time to honor our resilience, achievements, and the enduring legacy of Black people.

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