Should We Abolish Black History Month?

To the extent that ignorance and dismissal of the myriad contributions of blacks to society continue to be pervasive, a mechanism for redressing these deficits is still desperately needed. Black History Month, if executed as intended, is indeed the most optimal mechanism for achieving this goal. Instead of advocating its abolition, we should be working to reorient Black History Month toward its original intent.

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Each year, the notion that Black History Month should be abolished is enthusiastically resuscitated under the pretense of promoting racial harmony. Those who emphatically oppose the institution of Black History Month tend to argue that it amplifies division between ethnic groups by serving to elevate blacks above everyone else.

Black History Month, the argument goes, should be eradicated because it promotes racial separatism. The protestation that, “it isn’t fair that blacks get a month to celebrate ‘how great they are,’ while no other race is afforded such a privilege,” is vehemently raised by “equality” advocates. This annual 28-day celebratory period, these advocates posit, is, therefore, antithetical to the goal of achieving racial reconciliation in America, and should consequently be abolished.

There are valid criticisms of the manner in which Black History Month is celebrated today. In many ways, Black History Month as practiced today doesn’t live up to its inaugural intent. It is unquestionably true, for instance, that Black History Month celebrations tend to unabashedly promote hero worship of a handful of notable Civil Rights leaders (such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks) rather than engage in a more comprehensive recognition of historical black achievement, and holistic celebration of black cultural heritage.

That said, it is one thing to say that Black History Month celebrations often miss the mark and should be improved. On this point, I will offer wholehearted agreement. However, it is entirely absurd to proffer the historically illiterate sentiment that Black History Month’s very impetus promotes black separatism or black superiority. It is equally absurd to assert that Black History Month’s less-than-ideal attributes and accouterments merit its abolition. Further, the idea that Black History Month takes attention away from the history of “other races” is merely a regurgitated white nationalist talking point.

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