Tuesday, February 3, 2009

February is Black History Month

Every year, since I could remember, February has been called Black History Month. When I was in school, our teachers would dedicate this month to teaching us all about the contributions African Americans have made, African American culture, and African American history. Well, imagine my surprise when my baby tells me that they're not being taught anything specific for Black History Month. I try not to get on a soapbox about things, but if the children are getting out of school for 5 days to celebrate Mardis Gras, and are giving and receiving valentines to one another, then I believe some recognition should be given to the many African Americans that have contributed to the history of this great country. So, with that said, I will be sharing with you all some of the Black History facts that I'm going over with my children.

Black History Month began in 1926 when Harvard scholar Dr. Carter G. Woodson, made it his mission to show the public that Black History wasn't only about slavery. It's first recognition was during the second week of February. Dr. Woodson chose this time because it also marked the birthday's of two Americans who greatly influenced the lives and social conditons of African Americans, former President Abraham Lincoln, and abolitionist Frederick Douglas(wikipedia.org).

Okay so now that we have the origin out of the way, let me share with you a black history fact. I'm sharing this fact with you because my babies often ask me why Native American's are called such, and if they were here first where did the other people in America come from. Good question, so I'll start with this bit of information that I obtained from Black-History-Month.net.

The first Black Americans were the 20 blacks that arrived at Jamestown, Virginia about the latter end of August in 1619. Surviving evidence indicates that the first Black settlers were not slaves. It appears from the record that they were assigned the same status- indentured servitude- as most of the first White immigrants. At the time of the first detailed census in 1624-25, the 23 Blacks in Virginia- 11 males, 10 females, and 2 children- constituted some two percent of the total population of 1227. Among the Blacks identified by name were Angelo, Edward, Antonio, Mary and John Pedro ( Black-History-Month.net) ~End Quote

Whew!! So that's what 's going on in our house lately. Hope you enjoyed this Black History fact.



Three Prince Designs said...

Thank you for the lesson- very informative! I think holidays come and go and sometimes we forget the reason for the holiday/ celebrations such as Black History month.

BTW- I love the quilt!

I have another blog award on my site for you!

Did you get your sassy and flirty apron out in time? I sent mine today!

Dragon's Dolphin said...

Carlotta, I don’t know where you live but we only get the Monday and Tuesday off for Mardi Gras. I know some schools (and we used to) get off that Wednesday also. I agree that Black History should be covered. The difference is that I also feel that we should have a time designated for the Chinese-Americans (we take that opportunity when we study Chinese New Year in my class), the different Native Americans, and then why not spend some time about famous Jewish people, those from different areas of Europe—not just the English Americans. But what do I know? ~Shelly~

Carlotta said...

I agree Shelly, we should devote more time to the other cultures as well. And I remember doing just that when I worked as a Paraprofessional in NY. I was just surprised that it seemed Black History had taken a backseat to the others. We are in Louisiana and when we first moved here the children had a full week, Mon-Fri off for Mardi Gras. I remember calling Mom in NY and fussing about it. I couldn't understand it. This year they're getting the Friday, Monday and Tuesday.

Barb said...

I don't think there should be a month dedicated to Black History, I think that it is a part of our heritage to be taught about the important people in our country's history no matter what color, race, or religion they are - all of the time. I think when you leave out a very vital part of our history and only teach it once a year then we are lacking as a society....we are also seperating ourselves from each other. So I think our school systems are behind the times and need to revamp their books and include everyone.

Carlotta said...

Oh Barb, wouldn't that be wonderful. To revamp the history books to include everyone the way it should be. My grampa would say 'that's too much like right'