The idea advocated by some that Black History Month should now cease because America has an African American president does not make much sense. One is actually not sure what one has to do with the other. Obama’s victory and presidency is undoubtedly historic but the teaching of the trials and tribulations of people of African descent in America should not end due to one’s election. As the teaching of the British Empire and European centered civilization did not cease with Bush’s presidency.
It is a different argument to say that Black History should be taught alongside American History, or World History. Of course it should. Similarly, the role of women in American history and world history too should be taught and equally recognized. It is often the times that students of color do not relate or see themselves in what is being taught. Black History is at a minimum necessary for these students to take a second look at where they’ve come from and where they can go. An opportunity they should get to see more than the 28 days alloted.
As the founder of Black History Month Carter G. Woodson noted and other scholars promoting an African centered or a global centered curriculum, the current education system also serves as mis-education for white students who get to see themselves as the center of the world, when in reality they are like everyone else a part of the global community. Why not teach European history along with a history of the West African Empires (black history did not begin with Slavery, See the Great Mali Empire) and Egyptian kingdoms, Aztec and Inca Kingdoms, and Chinese Dynasties. It’s time for a global educational perspective for a now interconnected world.