ROCHESTER, Minn. - There is so much history that involves people of color that unfortunately, you won't find in history books. So that's what Black History Month is dedicated to.
A lot has happened over the last several months regarding racial inequality and injustice. The nation has brought up new conversations surrounding systemic racism and what we can do to achieve social justice. Black History Month is often times not a celebration, but rather a time to reflect on what African Americans have been through and the contributions they've made to society. It's been almost a year since the death of George Floyd sparked a nationwide awakening.
The President of the Rochester NAACP, Wale Elegbede, said that's been a great starting point of everyone coming together and learning about the issues. He explained getting a change in leadership is also a step in the right direction. But it goes beyond that and fighting for social justice for all Americans can't stop there. "We could see how we progress in health care. Does everybody have vaccines? are we making sure that people of color that are overrepresented in covid, are they not underrepresented in the vaccine distribution? So we could do that, that would be a big one," Elegbede explained. "Jobs, school discipline disparities - is that trend going down? Because it's really whack, it's really bad."
Elegbede said this is nothing new, though. These obstacles for African Americans have been around since the beginning of time and it's up to us to come together. "It's about us, right? It's not about single individual, it's about us," he explained. "So I say reach out, you have a lot of support and be uncomfortable. Be uncomfortable to be comfortable.so basically, reach out to people that you normally don't do."
Black History Month was first celebrated at Kent State University in Ohio back in 1970.