By D’Antrese McNeil

In 1976, then President of the United States, Gerald R. Ford extended African American week to a whole month observance. His explanation was that our country needed to take advantage of the chance to honor what he felt were the neglected accomplishments of African-Americans in our nation’s history.

Celebrate the Good!

For me, as an African-American, Black History Month is important for many reasons. For one, all too often it seems only the most negative parts of the African American community are publicized. Frequently, we are bombarded with images of rowdy athletes and reality stars. Its as if these are the only examples of the success that black people acquire. Not to mention we are often led to see unfair stereotypes from a culture and generation that is sadly still learning to accept us. This month also gives us an opportunity to shine a light on the positive and drown out the negative.

One way to acknowledge and celebrate is to introduce new or little-known black history facts to our children. These concepts are not always taught in schools and movies. This helps them learn more about their history. As we all know, there is way more to black history than Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X, Rosa Parks and segregation.

Recently, the community is ecstatic at the opening of the African American History Museum in Washington D.C., and it is definitely the hottest ticket in town! It has become so popular that admission is through timed tickets only. As a graduate of Texas Southern University, a historically black university, a lot of what I personally learned about Black History and so much more came from that one place, not to mention, my college forensic and debate team as well. (shameless plug!).

Observing as a Family

My husband and I also make it a point to help our kids learn and understand the not so great part, the ugly part of Black History. I believe this helps them to really understand how far we’ve come today. We like to take them to historical places such as the Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, Virginia, a church steeped in history.

We are currently blessed to be stationed in the DMV. This is an area of the country that is rich in the way they observe history. There are many events and celebrations happening this month in the Nation’s Capital for those interested in learning more about black history.

Black History Month is an important observance of our nation’s history as a whole. It is a month to promote and witness positive examples of historical events and amazing leaders. We need to keep vigilant as we continue making strides towards change. The best part is anyone can celebrate, and it doesn’t have to be just 28 or 29 days of the year. Celebrating our unique history should be celebrated all year long.

Please share with us below some of the ways your family observes Black History.

Author: D’Antrese McNeil, PCSgrades Blogger Affiliate is a proud Mil Spouse. She is a stay at home mom, as well as a photographer and vlogger/blogger. She is also the Pax River Military Spouse of the Year 2017! Her Facebook followers are often entertained with her tales from military life to life in general. D’Antrese is a proud Houston, Texas Native. She enjoys Hip Hop, R and B and country music and is a big Foodie! Check her out on YouTube: D’Antrese Le’Chelle and FaceBook: D’Antrese Le’Chelle.