Maybe it’s a short month, but appreciate it’s worth.
Published: Friday, February 15, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 14, 2013 16:02
I am writing this column to pay respect and observe Black history month.
Being African American is beautiful and I have never wanted to be anything other than that. As an African American female, from Burleson, Texas, I have seen some racism, but as the bigger person I have learned to grow and move around it.
Some people say I act too white, or even too black, but do these balances exist? Where is the scale that weighs your characteristics; your behavior; your thoughts?
In my world, I am just a human breathing the same polluted air as the person beside me.
Some people make a big deal about Black history month being the shortest month of the year, but I am thankful there even is a Black history month.
People often look at the smaller picture rather than the overall view. In my opinion, this month is nationally designated for African Americans to review and celebrate their past, present and future, but we find too many people complaining rather than exploring. If you are so wrapped up in the length of the month take out your own personal time 365 days a year to grow and become more knowledgeable of your culture.
There are so many things to know about African American history, but you have to research it. Other than the tedious ship ride, our history classes never dish out the history of blacks and what they were doing in America, unless it almost caused a fight or ended with a death of a black man. Of course, everyone is quick to bring up the most known African Americans, such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks for their work with the Civil rights moment, or George Washington Carver, scientist and educator credited for the birth of peanut butter.
But have you heard of Lewis Latimer?
He invented the carbon filament, an important part of the light bulb. Latimer worked in the laboratories of both Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell.
What about Garrett Morgan?
He invented one of the first traffic signaling devices. Saving many lives back then, and even now of course.
Or Lyda Newman?
She invented the first hairbrush, which is a tool that most people cannot leave the house without paying a visit to.
Lonnie G. Johnson?
He invented the Supersoaker water gun, creating summer fun in backyards near you.
These are just a few of the millions of items out there invented by African Americans. I am not writing to brag about my culture, because every culture comes up with something worth mentioning, but I am writing to inform people. There is much more to African Americans than the Civil rights movement and that every meal isn’t chicken, watermelon and Kool-Aid.
When you ignore stupidity you find room, in your heart and beyond your body, to grow. I am so thankful I found that room early in life. I know plenty of people who cannot turn the other cheek and be the bigger person in hostile situations, especially when pertaining to race. I see it as: If they can’t take it from you or change you, who are they to be against you?
Knowing what makes the skin you’re in beautiful is important, not just to African Americans, but to everyone.
I love being African American and would not change who I am for anybody. I just wish people wouldn’t place themselves under stereotypes because they feel that others will do it any ways. I was that way before and it isn’t fun. You lose your true character trying to be what other people crave. It is not attractive and you soon realize that other people are not in your skin at the end of the day. Stereotypes are only true if you allow them to be, but please do be yourself.
Make the rest of the month a beautiful black parade. And remember that Black history month only goes as far as you take it. If you do not educate the blind they will never know what it is hidden.
Facts from www.scholastic.com