Danville Express

Perspective - February 23, 2007

February is Black History Month

Schools teach so many things these days - from reading, writing and 'rithmetic to computers to health to all facets of history. An important part of the curriculum is Black History, which is highlighted in February, Black History Month.

Black History Month evolved from Negro History Week, begun by Harvard scholar Dr. Carter G. Woodson in 1926. He was determined to bring Black History into the mainstream, and he chose the second week of February, the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, 1818-1895, an American abolitionist, author and statesman.

Schools last month included a unit on the Martin Luther King Jr., whose Jan. 15 birthday is a holiday. Lessons focused not only on the man and the changes he wrought but on the importance of family and of having dreams to create a better world. For older students, studying Martin Luther King Jr. is a time to discuss passive resistance and civil disobedience, and achieving justice and equality in our country and in our community.

When people no longer have children in school they can forget to visit these important issues periodically. This is where the Diablo Black Men's Group comes in. The group's mission is to promote fellowship and help African-Americans and other minorities in the Diablo Valley "actualize full citizenship, to include liberty, good health, social equality and economic vitality." The group is presenting a Black History Program from 2-4 p.m. Sunday at the San Ramon Community Center that sounds informative, inspirational and enjoyable for everyone. A Negro League Baseball Display will drive home the heartrending historical fact that blacks for a long time were kept out of major league ball clubs, where they are our heroes today.

We study history to learn about ourselves and to better understand the present. Black History is an important part of American history and learning about society today.


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