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  • Writer's pictureKrista Bontrager

Weighing Pros & Cons of Black History Month

February was Black History Month. Does participating in BHM unnecessarily divide Christians? Or is it something to be celebrated? Monique and Krista will be joined by Kevin Briggins (Off Code podcast) to discuss this tricky topic.


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Discussion about Black History


When did Black History Month start?

It was officially recognized as a month-long commemoration by President Ford in 1976. Prior to this, it was called "Negro History Week", initially started by Historian, Carter G. Woodson, in 1915. It was typically celebrated in the second week of February because it coincided with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.


The original intent of Black History Month was to highlight the contributions and heroism of black individuals who were not being recognized in mainstream media or history books. Today it seems that the focus has shifted to more of a "struggle narrative" vs "overcoming." The sentiment used to be more positive and uplifting, but now the tone is more negative, political, and activist-focused. However, Black Lives Matter (BLM) and the 1619 Project do not represent Black History!


The 1619 Project, BLM, and Critical Race Theory (CRT) put forth a revisionist history. "Revisionist history" is the perspective of history from the other side. In other words, if today's narrative says that all American history is "white history", then revisionist history will present history from the black perspective or oppressed/marginalized lens.


Important--Critical Race Theory has nothing to do with history! Do not think that if you remove CRT, you'll be removing Black History. This is not true! Black History is American History!


Instead, classroom teachers, homeschool families, and other educators should teach history as an organic whole!

Talk about key events and key people in certain time periods...for example, during the timeline of the 1920s, talk about the Harlem Renaissance. Don't try to cram in the black contributions only in the month of February!


How does Black History relate to a Biblical worldview?

Within a church context or a Christian college setting, it seems to be a type of partiality, when one group is elevated above another. In other words, it can leave out other groups, such as Jewish people, Asian, Eastern European, and so on.


Remember:

  • Our PRIMARY identity: People created in the image of God (Additionally, if we are Christians, our identity is as a child of God and we are a part of God's household)

  • Secondarily, in terms of family heritage, country I am from, immigrant status, cultural practices, language...these are all related to issues of Providence. In other words, God created me and put me in a time and place and family where I would grow up

  • Within a Christian setting, it is important to make the focus Christ-centered and Christ-glorifying, rather than focusing on ourselves and our own cultural pride


The team recommends these resources:



Kevin: Two Books:



Connect with the Guest


Have you missed the Off Code podcast? Don't worry--it will be back! The team is currently on hiatus due to Monique's book project and writing deadlines. In the meantime, be sure to check out the previous episodes:


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