Several of TheGrio’s 100 shared their thoughts on the importance of black history month. Many said the month is not only an opportunity to reflect on the contributions of African-Americans, it provides a teachable moment for younger generations.
Some said the election of President Barack Obama has gone a long way in changing American perceptions of blacks in the U.S. But there is a still a long way to go.
Below is a small sample of some of their reflections:
Jason Moran, jazz pianist
Black history is American history because we’re all a part of making this country what it is. So much of the country has been built on [African-Americans’] back. And so we should know the ground which we stand on.
Seun Adebiyi, cancer survivor
Black history is one that’s characterized by struggle. Struggle and triumph. And I think those two are the flip sides to the same coin. Without struggle, we wouldn’t appreciate the victories and it’s the sweat of our brows, the tears we shed and our blood that makes life sweet.
Majora Carter, environmental justice advocate
I truly believe that black history is American history and that people need to understand it whether or not it’s a month to celebrate it.
Video edited by Kumasi Aaron