A Link Between Cultural Celebrations and Segreagation?
If we are trying to get rid of segregation entirely, why do we continue to honor certain racial groups in certain months? I interviewed three people who have a strong connection with cultural celebrations, and did vast research to better understand this nationwide phenomenon. Black History Month has a wide history, having been around since, at the very earliest, the 1950’s. African American History Month is celebrated in February, and according to BlackHistoryMonth.
gov, when historian Carter G. Woodson died in 1950, something was established known as “Negro History Week,” which became an integral part of African American daily life. Finally, in 1976, Negro History Week was expanded to a month long celebration, and the name was changed to Black History Month. It is celebrated every year in February. Another widely celebrated cultural month is National Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrated from September 15th to October 15th. These, among smaller celebrations, have been around for a long time, and continue to remain relevant as those of different races wish to be acknowledged for their accomplishments.
African American History Month has its roots in the Civil Rights Movement, which started the idea that everyone should have equal rights. However, when do those rights become too much? According to Zaire Yancy, “…if it’s a big deal for some people then they should be allowed celebrate how they please.” She says that “…all diversity should be embraced…” Perhaps she has a point. Black History Month lets America acknowledge those of a different race, but why not celebrate everyone’s accomplishments as a whole instead of letting certain races stand out? According to Fran Polar, “…it’s a great way to help people become aware of those who made a huge impact on our country…we need to be reminded of the other races and their achievements.” However, why not just celebrate everyone? Fran Polar, one of the interviewees in this article, is of Peruvian descent, Zaire Yancy is of African descent, and Kayla Thiel is of white descent. Interviewing each of these people proved interesting, with all the different opinions.
Kayla Thiel said that “…celebrating a single race nonchalantly builds a greater divide between races and inevitably defeats the purpose of the elimination of racist and/or prejudiced behavior.” Kayla also said that “…if one race is celebrated, all races should be celebrated.” Shown in these few quotes, it is clear that there are varying opinions on the issue of the celebration of Black History Month. There are many ways this issue could be fixed, including mixing up the celebrations of all people and dispersing them throughout the year. Diversity should be embraced, but it should not be used to encourage segregation.