Black History Month
Black History Month
Black History Month
#04 – Year-round Festival Series – Black History Month – Black history is American history

Blood and Tears of Black American History

Black History Month originated in the United States and is also known as African-American History Month. The U.S. and Canadian governments first recognized the festival, and in recent years, the United Kingdom, Germany, Ireland, France and Africa have gradually recognised Black History Month in their own countries in different months. The observance originated in 1926 with the establishment of Black History Week in the United States to honor the contributions and achievements of African-Americans in American history.

The black community celebrated Lincoln’s birthday (February 12) and Douglass’ birthday (February 14) through the 19th century, and the second week of February was officially established as Black History Week in the United States in 1926; it was extended to Black History Month in the 1970s. President Abraham Lincoln played an important role in the emancipation of black slaves, especially with the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. Douglass was a great black orator and social reformer, born into slavery and a lifelong advocate for black people.

In the United States, Black History Month includes a series of events at universities, schools, museums, and other locations throughout the country. Each year, the holiday is celebrated with a specific theme, and the theme for 2023 focuses on the importance of Black resistance. African Americans have resisted all forms of oppression that have persisted throughout history. Most African American ancestors were kidnapped from West Africa in the 17th and 18th centuries and brought to the United States to be forced into slavery.

Black History Month has been controversial since its inception. They have questioned whether black history should be confined to educational institutions, but rather that the entirety of black history should be included in mainstream education throughout the year. One concern is that Black History Month has instead highlighted racial discrimination. They argue that black history should not be reduced to hero worship. Black history is American history.
A major issue that plagues the African American community is poverty. The issues that arise from poverty include marriage, health, education, and crime. It is not easy to meet African-Americans on the streets of Hong Kong. My impressions of them were limited to the best-selling American movies.

It was not until I went to the United States for a one-semester exchange when I was an undergraduate student that I had the opportunity to meet African Americans.

Late Night Encounters with African-Americans

One of the most memorable encounters was with an African-American man at the airport when I first arrived. After a long flight of over 20 hours, I arrived at the airport with a tired body and two heavy luggages. The unfamiliar surroundings also made me feel anxious. I was twenty-two years old and I was alone in the United States for the first time. I had two large and heavy bags with me and planned to stay for more than six months. I was thirsty and bought a bottle of water, but I couldn’t see how much money I would get back, I put the change back in my pocket. I was in a hurry to get to the hotel at the airport late at night.
An African-American airport security guard kept waving to me and asking me to come over. I couldn’t understand what he was saying. His spunky and tall figure contrasted with my thinness and fatigue. I was reluctant to approach him. Until he said it again and again, tired and anxious, I finally understood. It turned out that he was just kindly asking me where I was going. I showed him the itinerary I had printed out in advance and he kindly instructed me to take a bus.
When I got on the bus, the driver was another African-American, still so tall and much stronger than me. I still couldn’t understand what he said. I took out my change to pay the fare, but he didn’t accept cash. I didn’t have an electronic card either, so I didn’t know what to do. The driver asked me where I was going and I showed him the document. He told me to sit down and not to pay, and also told me where to get off. He told me to sit down and not to pay, and told me where to get off. So I arrived at the hotel in the middle of the night, safe and sound.
During my six months of study abroad, I met many African-Americans who were mostly from the grassroots of society and were hard-working. When I first arrived in the United States, I met these two African-Americans who were also kind and helpful. They treated me, a young Chinese woman, with care. When I recall such memories, they still warm my heart and become one of my good impressions about the United States.

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