5 Black History Month facts you should know

5 Black History Month facts you should know - AmazinApparels

1. Black people and people of colour are not interchangeable terms. 

The month is intentionally called Black History Month and not People of Color Month. While all Black people are people of colour, not all people of colour are Black. The term "people of colour" has to do with anyone who doesn't identify as white or of European descent, and there are other races that fall under this category. When speaking particularly about Black challenges or victories, it's necessary to use the word, Black. Referring to Black people as people of colour may only contribute to the erasure of complexities Black people experience. 

2. Every Black History Month has a theme. 

Every year an American President picks a theme for Black History Month. The theme for this year, 2023 is Black Resistance, which recognizes "historic and ongoing oppression, in all forms and our abilities as black people to come out victorious. Some of the previous Black History Month themes include Black Health and Wellness, The Crisis in Black Education, African Americans and the Vote and The Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity.

3. Immigrants are also part of Black history. 

Black History Month originated in the United States, but it's important to remember that this celebration is inclusive of black people from other cultures as well. According to Pew Research, one out of ten Black people in the United States migrated from their birthplaces to the US. These same people add to American growth and history. An example is Kwame Ture, who was a prominent political activist and organizer in the civil rights movement. While he was raised in the United States, we must acknowledge his birthplace, Trinidad. Another example is Colin Powell, who was the son of Jamaican immigrants. It is imperative that we recognise all black people whether they are “Americans” or not.

4. Black people with disabilities are part of Black history, too. 

Though Black History Month has been observed for many years, the contributions of those Blacks with disabilities are rarely acknowledged or praised. Yet, 5.6 Black Americans live with a disability. Even more black people with disabilities exist around the world. Sadly, most people do not know that Harriet Tubman experienced epilepsy or that Muhammad Ali had dyslexia because this information is rarely passed around. The failure to mention and acknowledge the disabilities of Black achievers contributes to erasure and works against inclusivity. All Black lives matter.

5. Slavery is not the only thing that has made life tough for Black Americans. 

Slavery as we know it ended in 1865, but many systemic issues continue to make living and thriving as a Black American tough. While we celebrate Black History Month, we must strive to create awareness of the importance of this month and also fight structures that were built against us.

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