In the UK, February is LGBTQ month, unlike in the US where February is officially recognised as African-American History Month.

Origins of Black History Month US explained:

Known as the “Father of Black History,” Woodson (1875-1950) was the son of former slaves, and understood how important gaining a proper education is when striving to secure and make the most out of one’s divine right of freedom.

I’m not sure that there’s such a thing as divine right of freedom but then I’m not religious.

Anyhow.

In the UK, Black History Month is in October.

As I’m in the UK myself, but Medium is a US publication, but it’s based out of San Francisco, I don’t know which group to highlight this month.

So, I went searching for more information and unfortunately discovered that people like to celebrate February for a lot of other reasons.

I’m not really big on communal celebrations; I hate all holidays I am forced to observe and especially Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

But with Black History Month, or African-American History Month, as it’s called in the US, I feel inclined to at least mention it.

I’m not really sure why. I don’t even wear a poppy on the Remembrance Day.

But I know and you should also know that black people are discriminated against actively and for reasons that defy logic and sense and so it behoves us to make a bit of extra effort to understand the history.

https://www.biography.com/political-figure/hiram-r-revels

Hiram R. Revels was a minister who, in 1870, became the first African American United States senator, representing the state of Mississippi. He served for a year before leaving to become the president of a historically Black college. Revels died on January 16, 1901, in Aberdeen, Mississippi.

Another interesting fact about Hiram Revels is that he was born into a free family at the time when slavery was still a thing.

I’m trying and failing to understand how anyone was able to justify slavery anyway but especially how those that did could justify it when clearly it was shown to be wrong by their peers and their government.

https://www.history.com/topics/american-civil-war/emancipation-proclamation

Beyond the historical facts, there are books to read recommended by a white dude on a quest to understand his privilege.

And, if you are too short on time and it’s all starting to feel like homework, there’s this Forbes article:

What White People Need To Know About Black History:

Reconstruction amendments promised a new start – a “second founding.” But sadly, the promise of a true multi-racial democracy was short-lived. And the backlash to it was long and damaging. After a period of serious legislating, Congress failed to enforce the gains made during Reconstruction. Time after time the Supreme Court narrowed what it meant to have citizenship, equal protection, and due process under the Constitution.

Trust me, it’s worth navigating all the annoying ads to read this article.

I like history anyway, so for me it’s fun to read about these things and it’s good to have a prompt of a celebratory month to remind me to do it.

You are all reading articles on Medium so it’s a safe bet that you also like reading, if not necessarily history.

Choose something to read about, hopefully a little bit out of your comfort zone -because that’s how we grow- and I hope you learn about something worth fighting for this month.