Friday, October 5, 2012

The Possibilities That Black History Month Books Provide For All Races

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By Rebekah Alford

A great equalizer for all mankind is the implementation and growth of diversity. This encourages the acceptance of different thoughts and ideas. For almost a century Black History Month Books have assisted in moving mankind towards that great equalizing level of diversity. Without them diversity would still be in deferment.

Race has been a very sensitive subject. As the world moves towards a becoming a global community of one, lies about race must be challenged. Misunderstandings about race must be corrected. And it needs to be done not as a way of pointing fingers or placing blame, but as a way of sharing the facts necessary for us to grow in diversity. Diversity will continue whether one likes it or not. The sting of this change will lessen with a willful tolerance and acceptance of all people.

In order to dispel the myth about this genre of books the overarching myth of the celebration of Black History Month itself must be refuted. It was actually started in 1926. The founder, Dr. Carter G. Woodson, chose that this week be held within the month of February. This is because notable supporters and defenders of civil rights were both born in this month.

During the time this celebration was founded the United States was some sixty years beyond the Civil War and into the Emancipation Proclamation. But the enslavement continued through the implementation of segregation in the south and unfair treatment throughout the union. In the midst of all of this Woodson founded an oasis of hope, a way of reminding everyone of the value and contributions of people of color.

Books for children are available in libraries, in electronic form, and in physical stores. Truths can be taught and learned at an early age. Book topics would include Benjamin Banneker, Booker T. Washington, Oprah Winfrey, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The motivations of any child can be stoked when the life of Harriet Tubman is read. The woman born a slave who was so moved to help others escape the same horrors is a success story that resonates regardless of color. When a child aspires to have this type of determination the path of humankind becomes more stable and sure.

Books for the more serious readers would include situational and thematic subjects. They can chronicle the contributions of people of color long before there was an America. The firm foundation that slaves working in cotton fields helped place America on can be followed fact by fact. These truths can serve to refocus both blacks and whites in a positive way.

One should understand that all races are interconnected in many ways. The goal is for this to be accepted. Mutual respect and acceptance of all people should become the rule and not the exception. Black History Month Books are helping to make this a reality.

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