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A white history month is unnecessary to society

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Throughout history, African Americans have often been overlooked and humiliated for their accomplishments. Whether it was for fighting for equal rights or contributing revolutionary inventions, such as Garrett Morgan’s invention of the traffic light and Dr. Charles Richard Drew’s invention of the first blood bank, African Americans have rarely been given the full recognition that they rightfully deserve.

A question that tends to resurface every year around February, Black History Month, is why there is no white history month. With that comes the same cliché response: because every month is white history month. Many people take offense to this question and there are countless reasons why. White individuals have long been naturally recognized as the dominant and default race with no questions asked. They have never needed a month dedicated to them because they have received nothing but praise for their work every day of the year.

John Blake, an Enterprise writer and CNN producer, conducted an interview for his article titled, “It’s time to talk about black ‘privilege” (CNN.com) Blake questioned Drew Domalick, a resident of Greenbay, Wisconsin, about his opinion on the so-called “black privilege.” Domalick believes that in America, you can’t even talk about being white, or if you even try to embrace it, you will be portrayed as a racist, saying “If we had a white history month that would be viewed as a racist holiday.” The Greenbay resident believes in black privilege, something that, in my opinion, does not exist. This interview sheds light on the level of ignorance towards the history of black culture and why it deserves to be celebrated.

The intent of Black History Month was never to guilt-trip or convey that white Americans are valued less, but rather to have everyone remain socially aware. It was never meant to make non-black individuals feel left out, although people do seem to feel like they are. It is true that everyone’s accomplishments deserve to be recognized, but having a month that is dedicated to the accomplishments of intelligent and brave African Americans is something critical that all individuals should be aware of. Non-black individuals tend to assume that Black History Month undermines other races, while the purpose is just to bring attention to significant American history that is not widely celebrated by all.

In the American education system, the dominant focus of curriculum is on white Americans and their accomplishments. Starting as early as elementary school, we learn about the Founding Fathers and their contributions to America, and while that is significant, black individuals such as Rosa Parks or Malcolm X are rarely ever focused on for longer than a couple of minutes. The dominance of white culture in America has a substantial effect on its citizens and also future generations to come. From the way that African Americans view themselves to how society views them, African Americans will never likely receive the same amount of respect as white Americans.

Despite this, there is a massive amount of progress being made in America. The movie “Black Panther,” which is set to come out in February 2018, represents black actors in Hollywood very well. Nonetheless, it is still deep-rooted in our society that Black History Month is seen as a burden to non-black individuals due to the lack of knowledge on the subject. In order to change the way that Black History Month is perceived, people need to become aware of this issue and expand their comprehension of the history and accomplishments of African Americans.

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