I am sorry to be so late with a post about Black History Month. I am not sure how many teachers take some time to discuss this topic, but I haven’t gotten any requests for resources or ideas about Black History Month. I hope that means that most people have so much material to share that they can’t possibly use any more from me. Personally, I’m torn about these kinds of celebrations – March is Women’s History Month and Hispanic Heritage Month happens between September 15 and the second week in October – because they tend to exacerbate ill feelings that exist between groups. But these kinds of celebrations were created in reaction to the very real discrimination that has disenfranchized many in our society by using the same identity politics that people now understand to be so divisive.
In other words, blacks, women, hispanics, and many others have suffered from the prejudices and biases that created the same identity politics which today necessitates that we take a month (or at least a moment) to acknowledge the contributions of people who were not white men. It is a crude implement to use in trying to correct the wrongs of the past, but it is a start at least, and it is something that I believe belongs in our schools and in our curriculum.
I think that the months that commemorate the contributions of these various groups need not be about what makes us different, but about what binds us together. All of the stories that I’ve ever researched for Black History or Women’s History or Hispanic Heritage Month, have had a common thread and it is this: “Greatness takes a lot of hard work, perseverance and courage, no matter who you are.”
P.S. For any one who watched the Super Bowl hoping to witness a moment in history, congratulations. The 2007-2008 Patriots became the first ever 18-1 team to NOT win a SUPER BOWL. Oh, the irony.
© 2008 henry toromoreno