National History months are outdated and need to be changed

Disclaimer: I consider myself to be a Korean-American, a male and someone who has experienced racism first-hand. As someone who has grown up experiencing racism and a different culture, I believe that my experience is equally important and something I would like to see changed because of the injustice non-white races do face.


One thing that has always annoyed me ever since I attended high school in Virginia was the amount of attention each history month garnered, because I feel like these history months do not do enough justice for the people that have struggled throughout history. 

Don’t get me wrong — I’m not saying these history months should not exist. I mean, what is so bad about celebrating Black and Women’s History Month? In a vacuum, there is nothing inherently wrong with celebrating the accomplishments of Black Americans and women in American history, but the issue I see is exactly that: American history.

Isn’t there something wrong with dedicating a certain month for the achievements of women and African Americans within American history? Some may argue that it is supposed to be a celebration,but while that may be true, when the celebration changed from Negro history week to Black History Month, it made it feel outdated if anything. 

In high school, we would celebrate BHM each year with a school assembly and a performance from various clubs. These performances were always eye-catching and appealing, but I never felt like I understood what it really meant to be Black. The performances didn’t really highlight different foods, clothing or traditions, but were mostly focused on modern-day music and performances from popular Black artists. Especially as someone who grew up around a different culture, I would have liked to see more performances that celebrated their culture and history. It was always about the performance and showing off their talents and skills, which I believe completely misses the point of BHM.

When learning about the origins of the history months in school, I always believed that it was America trying to apologize for its past mistakes and remedy the situation by dedicating a month of celebration. I think this was a great way of apologizing to the different communities and was effective during the mid-1900s, but it is about time for things to change. 

During its time, I can see how it was beneficial. It was supposed to be a week or month for Americans to recognize Black history and promote learning within African American communities after all the hardships they had to face, but this isn’t the mid-1900s —  it is a new century, along with a new generation of kids and adults who are already aware of what Black culture looks like. Instead of promoting Black history and their culture, I would rather see changes in how society views racism and more people advocating for change in equality among all races.

Women’s History Month faces a similar issue as BHM. While women’s history recognizes international figures throughout history and their accomplishments, it still fails to fix the issue of sexism and the inequality that many women face in the world. It’s great that women in America and European countries are primarily free and independent, but that’s not the case all over the world. Each year the celebration is always about historical figures and celebrity figures who advocate for women’s rights and equality, but very few people actually take action and look to create change.

Not to mention, every year the same things are talked about over and over again. Each news outlet seems to be celebrating these months by talking about important historical figures and events, and there is little to no variety. 

Something I have heard a lot is “if you don’t agree with Black History Month then you are racist,” or “you don’t respect women if you think Women’s History Month is a waste of time.” In reality, I think a month is definitely not enough time to celebrate women and African Americans and their impact on the world. I also find it odd that Black History Month in particular is focused almost completely on American history and how they affected the United States, not the impact Black people have had on the world as a whole. For a race that was completely mistreated and oppressed in all parts of the globe, it doesn’t feel right to celebrate the month as BHM; if anything, it should be changed to American Black History Month.

I believe it is our generation’s duty to make these changes happen for a better future for everyone. Especially with the rise of social media and technology, I believe we are given all the tools to create change and advocate for a more equal and fair world that treats each person fairly no matter their sex, race or sexual orientation. It is time to act on what we say and look to be a part of the change.