Black History Month in 2022 is a month of remembrance, education, and action. It is a month to remember not just the Black revolutionaries but the history of Black people in America. With Black History Month, it is imperative of non-Black people to educate themselves on Black history in America. With remembering Black history, we must also confront the astounding oppression that exists in America today towards the Black population.
Revolutionaries in Black history fought for the end of slavery, for the right to vote, for civil rights, and for the right to be treated equally and equitably. With their consistent fight, struggle, and want for justice, strides have been made for society to be a little more just, a little more equal.
However, the American racial past is its racial present and if society remains as is, will continue to be its future. From police brutality to disenfranchisement of Black Americans to the high incarceration rate of Black Americans to de-facto housing segregation, racism in America is not only alive, but thriving. With the recent scapegoating of critical race theory and heightened sense of white fragility, Black people are villainized again and again in popular discourse. Although a month of remembrance is needed and necessary, it is furthermore necessary to remember Black history and Black radicals in day-to-day life in America. The words of Martin Luther King Jr. that are sanitized to fit into a palatable form of social justice, the impact of Malcolm X that is heavily ignored, and the Black Lives Matter movement that is often antagonized and misinterpreted are all elements of a society that actively covers up racial injustice.
In the words of Malcolm X, “I will never say that progress is being made. If you stick a knife in my back nine inches and pull it out six inches, there’s no progress. If you pull it all the way out, that’s not progress. The progress is healing the wound that the blow made. And they haven’t even begun to pull the knife out, much less heal the wound. They won’t even admit the knife is there.”
Through this Black History Month, we hope to always support the fight for social justice, policy change, and societal shift in the structures of oppression that exist against Black Americans.