The meaning of Black History Month

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          February is the month of black history, a month of remembrance of all the people who suffered from slavery to racism and discrimination, and struggled not just to live but to make something of themselves. This month is in honor of everyone who fought against the odds not only for themselves but for their children and then their grandchildren. To live in a society where a person isn’t instantly hated by their skin color but instead, judged by the type of person they are. I interviewed Mrs.Linda Jackson, who grew up in that time period of hate and chance.

*What does black history month mean to you?

Mrs.Jackson: I think of all the black Americans who paved the way for me and what they went through, like my father.

*How did you feel about the racism & discrimination? Did it make you stronger?

Mrs.Jackson: Yes, it did. I experienced it first hand and overall, racism made me stronger, it made me successful versus the people who used racism as a crutch. I was called “nigger” and I knew that people in my school looked down on me. I knew I wasn’t invited to parties and couldn’t go to certain places like church because I was black, so what my community did was to create their own church.

*So would you say church played a huge role in your life?

Mrs.Jackson: Extremely, my grandparent founded a black church that now is a historical landmark. And what people did was they sold their houses to buy the land where the church was planned to be built

*So would you say that racism still exist today?

Mrs.Jackson: Yes it definitely does, but it isn’t as in your face like it use to be. It’s definitely still there on the down low. Example, every time we have a meeting of all the teachers in the district you can see that there are only 10% of black people working in schools, from janitors up to superintendent and I know it’s not because people aren’t qualified. I also believe that this generation and people a little older than you don’t work hard because you expect things to be handed to you. Because your parents buy you the nicest clothes and the nicest shoes, cell phones, you have become spoiled and forgot the struggle that people went through so that you can have nice things. Instead of working to get what you want you expect it to be handed to you.

          So this month is to be celebrated not in remorse but in remembrance of all the people who risked their lives for future generations to have a fair and better chance at life. To not be instantly judged by the color of your skin but by your character and as a person, and as a black person I understand, but not fully. Because I see the looks I get from certain people and because it feels like society expects or wants me to fail in life, I can say that unlike other people of my race, I do not want to be another statistic because it’s not the way to live.

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