OPINION: Love the History, Love the Fight, Love the People


Kaia Phelps

Our focus during Black History Month needs to encompass all aspects of Black culture, history, struggles, and triumphs. Graphic by Hailey Stessman/The Gateway

The truth and intent of any content is based on its writer. The strength of its message depends on the understanding of the audience and the audience’s understanding of the message is determined by social climate.

Amid a global pandemic, under the direction of a racist, pontificating, tyrannizing, headship, the protests of “Hands up don’t shoot” or “We can’t breathe” sound more like an extremist leftist’s tactics used to demonize and misappropriate messages of conservatism more than a cry for justice.

Never mind the political aspect though.

I am 22 years old and grew up reading about White racist southerners screaming at Blacks who dared to equalize this oppressive system, seen pictures of protests, marches, and sit-ins. They’re just books right?

Wrong, I lived that “narrative” this past summer of 2020.  Not only did I live it, I marched it, prayed about it, cried over it, and the anguish I had once known in textbooks was seen across the nation.

Every generation found itself upon the streets shoes hitting the pavement, gathered in unity, signs stabbing the air declaring what should have been the obvious: “Black Lives Matter”. Nevermind the political implications of the group, think of the sentiment: Black Lives Matter, there would be no need to chant it if the system were formulated in such a way that it supported it.

Black history is preserved and remembered this month to decrease the influence of those who’ve controlled it for years, thereby increasing the knowledge of its subjects and alliances.

We do it by telling our OWN stories!

Let Black History then be about black voices. The Amanda Gorman’s, Ibram X Kendi’s, Ta’Nehisi Coates’, John Lewis’, Elijah Cummings’, Ida B. Wells, Cicely Tyson and many more.  So do not just recognize this February for our music, sports, food, clothes, and hairstyles. Love the history. Love the fight. Love the story. Love the people. God Bless!