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Thinking Out

Marissa Alexander

We should be celebrating Black History and Culture, and asking these questions.

Updated: May 22, 2023

As I reflect on Black History Month, I have more questions than answers. Every February, for 28 or 29 days, we are educated about African American history and culture through programs, events, and advertising. But, I wonder if we're leveraging Black History Month to our advantage. Could we do more? Should we be doing more? I think about the Civil Rights movements and periods of organized resistance in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. Since then, how much progress have we made in our struggle to overcome the injustices, inequalities, and denied liberties we faced for centuries? We are forever grateful for the torchbearers and trailblazers who demanded change. Today, do we honor them by responding to present-day racism and oppression with the same level of passion and determination?

Is Cancel Culture the new boycott, strike, or walkout? If so, is it an effective response to ending the racism inherent in the social, economic, and legal institutions that the American majority deny exists? Like I said, I have more questions than answers, but I believe that when Dr. Carter G. Woodson launched Negro History Week in 1926, before it became a month-long celebration in 1976, he did so with the intent to not only recognize the past achievements of African Americans, but also to insist on acknowledgement of our intelligence, ingenuity, and intellectual capabilities and ongoing contributions, and to demand equity and inclusion. I hope that Black History Month 2024 kicks off a celebration of our history and culture, and a demand for equity and inclusion; and that we will form a Human Resistance against all manners of racism, discrimination, and oppression, and move toward making future America the home of liberty and justice for all. Marissa


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