I keep hearing, “If we had white history month, we’d be called racist.”
Let me explain something, 11 months out of the year IS white history. The fact that black history is limited to one month out of the year is a travesty. During the month of February, slavery, MLK, Rosa Parks, and Ruby Bridges is often taught, but there is SO MUCH MORE to black history than those mentioned above.
Many didn’t know the name Harriet Tubman until the “Women on the Twenty” campaign started. She is one badass woman! Many know her as being an integral part of the Underground Railroad, but she was so much more. Harriet was an abolitionist, humanitarian, and a spy for the Union. Yes, you read that right, she was a spy! She also fought for the women’s right to vote. Tell me she’s not a badass and I’ll call you a liar.
Paul Cuffe was a Quaker businessman, a badass sea captain, patriot, and abolitionist. He was of Aquinnah Wampanoag and Ashanti descent and helped colonize Sierra Leone. Cuffe built a lucrative shipping empire and established the first racially integrated school in Westport, Massachusetts.
Denmark Vesey was a literate, skilled carpenter and leader among African Americans in Charleston, South Carolina when being literate was a rarity. He was convicted of being a ringleader of “The Rising”, slave revolt planned for the city in June 1822; he was executed. It’s reported that he was born into slavery in St. Thomas, he served a master in Bermuda for some time before being brought to Charleston, where he gained his freedom.
Sojourner Truth; born Isabella (“Bell”) Baumfree, was an African-American abolitionist and women’s rights activist. Truth was born into slavery in Swartekill, New York, but escaped with her infant daughter to freedom in 1826. After going to court to recover her son, in 1828 she became the first black woman to win such a case against a white man. Not only did she successfully win a case, during the Civil War, Truth helped recruit black troops for the Union Army. After the war, she tried unsuccessfully to secure land grants from the federal government for former slaves.
Charles Drew is a name that we should all know! Drew was an American physician, surgeon, and medical researcher. He researched in the field of blood transfusions, developing improved techniques for blood storage, and applied his expert knowledge to developing large-scale blood banks early in World War II. This allowed medics to save thousands of lives of the Allied forces. The research and development aspect of his blood storage work is disputed. As the most prominent African-American in the field, Drew protested against the practice of racial segregation in the donation of blood, as it lacked scientific foundation, and resigned his position with American Red Cross, which maintained the policy until 1950.
As you can see, there is so much more that one month can cover. We owe a lot to black men and women. So please, spare me your bellyaching over the fact that black men and women have the month of February when the excellence that built this country should be observed every month!