Each year we celebrate Black History Month and recall the epic events, the legends and the heroes in American history, but sometimes the story in the story gets lost because of context. Many times I have been asked, "Why do we celebrate Black History Month anyway, all of that can be found in a history book." That is a good question and one that truly deserves an answer.
It is true that a great deal of Black history can be found in a history book, but unfortunately most of those books do not find their way into many schools. The rich history of African Americans before and after the Mayflower is a story that should be told in its entirety, because it's a great American story. When I have looked at the history books used in many American schools, what I have found is that maybe a chapter or two is dedicated to Black History, and that only skims the surface.
The story of a people who were brought to the shores of America in chains and sold as chattel is one that is unique in all of world history. Yes there have been accounts of slavery throughout the world, but none like the legacy that occurred in the United States. But the good news is that this story has continued to unfold. What could have been generations of still unfulfilled dreams have turned into to dreams realized. Black History Month gives all of us an opportunity to study and celebrate a culture and a people who have earned their place in history. To learn more, take a trip to the Black History Museum and the American Civil War Center both located right here in Richmond, Virginia.