From the Socialist Party USA People of Color Commission:
February is Black History Month. It’s a time when our public institutions, and corporations give a little extra attention to the accomplishments and contributions to the story of the Americas made by Black Americans. Established by Carter G Woodson in 1926, it’s purpose was to promote the contributions made by Black Americans in an effort to undo the contention that Black people have no history, and have made no significant contributions to the history of the Americas.
Since 1926 this project has come along way. What started as a one week remembrance of Black American accomplishments has become an entire month. As a child Black History Month began and ended with the ring of the school bell. By the mid 90’s McDonalds (if only on BET) began crafting ads for fast food to coincide with the month of February. If we weren’t yet recognized as key players in the American experience, our spending power certainly was. As with all things in our country whatever can be turned into a commodity will be turned into a commodity.
The Socialist Party USA is pleased to recognize and celebrate February as Black History month. As socialists we recognize the central role in American, and global history that African peoples occupy. You cannot address the history of religion, science, art, or the study of history itself without beginning with the story of the African. For socialists it is also important to move the stories of Black people out of it’s box in February and into the larger narrative of American History in order to reconstruct a story of the Americas as seen and experienced from the people on the bottom.
There can be no legitimate account of American history that distinguishes between it’s peoples contributions based on the color of their skin.