Should observance of black history and culture continue to be relegated to February?
Shukree Hassan Tilghman, filmmaker and executive producer of the documentary More Than A Month, doesn’t think so.
In a January 5, 2012, LA Times article, Tilghman and Sharon La Cruise–producer of the documentary, Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock,–express their concern with celebrating African-American history and culture during the month of February. In the article, Tilghman contends that the fact that his film is being aired on PBS during the month of February underscores the importance of taking a critical look at African-American History Month, saying, “It can’t really air in July, but I really want it to be seen outside the box, in July or August. March would be great.”
African-American History is American History. It shows the struggles of African-Americans to overcome social, economic, and political oppression. The month displays the consistent hard work and perseverance of countless African-Americans who labored to create, develop, and sustain the United States. Furthermore, showcasing African -American history gives many African-American screenwriters and filmmakers, such as Tilghman and Le Cruise, the opportunity to have their work seen by millions of viewers.
Highlighting African–American history is laudable, but the question remains: Should the celebration of African-Americans’ culture be encapsulated in one month? As a society, are we limiting further education and study with a 28-day observance? Share your thoughts.
Image Courtesy of Thiago Da Costa