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The Purpose of Black History Month
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February 25, 2013
In 1976, President Gerald Ford established February as Black History Month. At the end of January of this year, President Obama issued a proclamation stating that this month would be “National African American History Month.”
A year ago, Dr. Kaye Wise Whitehead, a professor of communications at Loyola University of Maryland, appeared on Maryland Morning to argue that we shouldn’t have a black history month. “I think by having just one month that’s set aside to celebrate and recognize the achievements of black people in this country, we are not talking about black history events the other 11 months of the year." she said. "I think by doing away with black history month, and by embedding black history into the curriculum, we’ll have more chances for robust discussions about black people.”
Now, a year later, she's had a change of heart. "I thought that we should be [post-racial]. I thought we had moved beyond basic conversations about race, and I realized we haven't. There's still little understanding about the community of black people that make up this country. And that is disturbing to me." She talks with Tom Hall about her change in thoughts.
We also want to hear from you. What are your thoughts on Black History Month? Do you think it’s good to have a full month devoted to the topic? Or are you more of a 365-er? Let us know n our listener line: 410-881-3162.