Black History is World History

This month is Black History month. I have seen several posts on social media enumerating black people who have been successful in a variety of fields such as science, medicine, technology and sports. It is good to celebrate successful people of color. However, history is so much more than just a "list of greatest hits". History is looking at the past in an unvarnished fashion. History is about learning from where we were so that we could find ourselves in a better place in the future. Most importantly, black history is world history. Basic education therefore is not served if we place black history as apart from our story. I went through basic education learning about the Roman Empire, Medieval Civilizations, and various wars, but I never came across a map that showed what we actually did in Africa not so long ago.


Above copied from
Facing History


The map alone tells so much about our world, how Europeans divided an entire continent among themselves. Here is another map:


Above copied from the
BBC

The above have clearly shaped us. The story of slavery has always challenged us. History, as tragic as it is, not only tells us of sad stories, but also tells us of inspiring episodes of both struggle and success. It is through this prism that we see better how black people have managed to make impactful contributions to our culture and knowledge in spite of a painful past. Black history is our history and we need to learn this not only during this month, but always, so that it becomes a part of our lives all the time.



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