Black History Month in the U.S and Around the World
February, in the U.S., is a time to honor the contributions and sacrifices of Black Americans throughout history. Black History Month celebrates the culture, achievements, and hardships faced by Black people, all of which are deeply ingrained elements of our country’s history.
The video below shows how Black History Month is celebrated in the U.S, and around the world.
DeeDee/@Dee.Vinky: Black history is everyone’s history.
(text: Celebrating Black History Month Around the World)
How would you describe your country?
Makayla/@Kattt_16: The best way that I could describe America for someone who has never been is that it is a melting pot of many, many, many different cultures.
Hanifah/@Its_Hanifah: I would describe the U.K as a country with lots of contrast, so you can go to a place like London, where I live, which is really, really diverse. We have shops from all over the world. We have people from all over the world, speaking different languages, and you’ll drive out maybe two or three hours, and not see a black person at all.
Tiffany/@Tiffrichx: If I could describe my experience in Japan in three words, it would be fun, safe, and peaceful, to say the least. However, on the other hand, being included by the Japanese community, and being so ingrained into the tradition and culture has made me ignorant and oblivious to my own bloodline, ancestral history, and culture.
What is Black History Month?
DeeDee/@Dee.Vinky: I would describe Black History Month as a time for people to learn about the black communities in the areas they live in. So, the country, or even around the world.
Palomafirstname.lastname@example.org: In Brazil, we mostly do small events. It could be some artistic event, some speeches.
Jazzie/@blackdigitalnomad: We celebrate historical black figures who’ve had a huge impact on this world and also amongst black people. When I first arrived here in Vietnam, people were not really familiar with black history month, so I thought it was important to engage the local people among the local black people here.
When do you celebrate Black History Month?
Chloe/@Ms_Chloe_Emmaline: In Australia, Black History Month is actually based in July. I think that people outside of Australia probably don’t know that there’s a Black History Month, here, and I think that that’s not really a surprise. Black History Month, here, is centered around, and quite rightly so, around Indigenous populations. Unfortunately, the relations between the government and Indigenous Australia is really not what it should be, even in the sense of prioritizing and amplifying the voices of Indigenous Australians. I don’t really feel like we’re there, yet.
Makayla/@Kattt_16: In America, we celebrate Black History Month during the month of February. It was originally only supposed to be a week-long, and was known as “Negro History Week,” but we decided to make it a month-long event because a week just wasn’t enough.
Palomaemail@example.com: We celebrate Black History Month in November, the date is the 20th of November. In Brazil, like, for black people, we are not pretty sure from where we are from, where we came from, so it’s a way to celebrate all of the greatness that we have inside us, and outside, as well.
Tiffany/@Tiffrichx: Just to give a depiction as to Japan’s demographics within Japan’s population, only 2% of Japan’s population are foreigners, and of that 2%, 80% of that 2% are foreigners from other Asian countries. Black History Month is not a nationally recognized thing. However, that does not stop us from taking our time to celebrate our black history, within our community, and outside our community. For Black History Month, Legacy Foundation Japan will be Monique Maryanne, the heart behind organizing Black History Month events here in Japan for over 10 years.
When did you start learning about Black History Month?
Makayla/@Kattt_16: I originally learned about Black History Month in elementary school, but our teacher did not really take advantage of Black History Month.
DeeDee/@Dee.Vinky: To be honest, like, in Canada, there isn’t much of a black history curriculum in schools. You know, we kind of go through, like Martin Luther King, like a brief mention of Malcolm X, Nelson Mandela, and the underground railroad because it came through Canada, but, beyond that, it was kind of it.
Hanifah/@Its_Hanifah: A lot of the time, when we learn about history, it’s very, very whitewashed, and even when we do learn about black history in school, outside of Black History Month, there’s not really that much of a focus.
Makayla/@Kattt_16: If we learned about black history, it wasn’t, you know, a lot, it was just like, “there was slavery and there was a little bit of the Civil Rights Movement,” but we didn’t learn it as in-depth as we learned white history.
What historical figures or events do you celebrate during Black History Month?
Hanifah/@Its_Hanifah: Notting Hill Carnival is a really important event that takes place at the end of August, but it actually started after there were race riots in West London. So, in, like, the late ’50s and early ’60s there was a huge influx of migration from the Caribbean after the war, and that, obviously, led to racial tensions. So, the carnival was kind of, like, in response, and, like a celebration of West Indian culture in London
Tiffany/@Tiffrichx: There have been a number of “first black” here in Japan. Christ Hart, he’s from the Bay area, San Francisco, and he is a J-Pop artist here in Japan.
Makayla/@Kattt_16: One of the biggest historical events that was very important for America was the Civil Rights Movement. During the Civil Rights Movement, there were many marches, protests, and other events that helped to shape America the way we know it, today.
Jazzie/@blackdigitalnomad: Black people have had a huge impact around the world, and it’s important to know that, because, sometimes there’s a negative narrative about black people, especially through the media.
Makayla/@Kattt_16: For, literally, hundreds of years, black people have been silenced in America. We were first silenced when we were kidnapped and brought here as slaves to work, for free.
Chloe/@Ms_Chloe_Emmaline: As an immigrant, I, especially one that got their citizenship that easily, I think that it is an obligation upon me to go and learn about the history of this country.
Hanifah/@Its_Hanifah: Growing up, in the UK as a black person, there is sometimes a consensus that being black kind of makes you not British, which is completely not the case at all, and I think learning Black History I’ve realized that black people have been so pivotal to the making of the country. They continue to be really, really important to the country.
DeeDee/@Dee.Vinky: Black people are everywhere in the world. Like, it’s not just in the states, it’s not just here. It’s like, every country has a black community, and a story to go along with that black community.
Jazzie/@blackdigitalnomad: When people know our history, they can understand more about our resiliency, and how far we’ve come, and the things that we’ve endured, and how we continue to keep going.
How will you be celebrating Black History Month this year? Check out our Resource Page to find Black-Owned businesses to support, audiobooks, art, and more to support your local and global Black community.
-Your Friends at Undoing Racism