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celebrating black history month with eyes wide open

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In the era of #BlackLivesMatter and our first Black President, the significance and relevance of Black History Month is being debated across the country.

Started in 1926 as “Negro History Week” by Carter G. Woodson, an African American historian and educator and the son of former slaves, Black History Month was formally recognized by the U.S. government in 1976 during the nation’s bicentennial.

However, there appears to be a major disconnect when our institutions faithfully celebrate Black History Month yet the reality on the street creates the need for a movement “committed to ending state-sanctioned violence against Black people.” Indeed, our very own mommy blogger Jessica writes that she is

“terrified of holding the responsibility of raising a black man. There is a parent’s safety guide for car seats, pools, medicine cabinets but I’m yet to see the ‘How to keep your black child from being killed by the police’ or ‘How to keep your child out of the preschool to prison pipeline.’”

Even the Black Lives Matter movement has found the need to reclaim Black History Month through an art-infused Black Futures Month.

So what are we supposed to do – as parents, as concerned citizens – to celebrate Black history while simultaneously creating secure, thriving Black futures? Jessica suggests that “what we all do for Black History Month matters, the conversations we have (and don’t have) with our children matter.” So talk about race with your children. Celebrate Black history. And imagine a world where Black Lives Matter.

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media contact

Stacey Nee
Communications Director
Stacey.Nee@state.ma.us
617.595.7639