February marks the start of Black History Month, a celebration of African American culture.
Since its inception in 1976, presidents have chosen February as Black History Month to celebrate the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, prominent abolitionist figures.
A recent shift in the federal system is spotlighting African American excellence. President Joe Biden has recently appointed six new lawyers to run the US attorney offices across the country, one of the candidates being Vanessa Avery. If elected, Avery would become the first African American woman to serve as United States attorney in Connecticut.
Although these are major accomplishments for the African American community, we as a society should have advanced much farther than this a long time ago.
Since this country’s inception, the African American community has had to pay for this country’s greatest flaw, discrimination, with their own blood. Even when slavery was abolished in 1865, Jim Crow laws were quickly established to continue to oppress the black community for another hundred years. To this day, African Americans continue to be discriminated against for the color of their skin.
To solve this problem, we have to become our country’s name, The United States of America. Instead of putting people down, we must pick them back up. Instead of pushing people away, we must stand with them. Although this problem cannot change overnight, all it needs is a spark of hope to set off a movement, just like the ones we have seen recently.
Avery’s nomination is a huge step in the right direction for a country desperately clawing at an identity of unity. Alongside Avery, black culture is continued to be represented every day. Apart from politics, we have seen powerful Black figures dominate other fields across the board. Just like how Marvel’s Black Panther dominated the box office back in 2018, LeBron James and Simone Biles continue to shine in their respective sports, paving the way for a future America where everyone stands as one.
Instead of placing just a month celebrating a certain culture, Black culture should be celebrated every single day. Happy Black History Month!