Why is History and Heritage so Important?

black history collage

Perhaps Black History and Heritage reminds you of just another short time period every year where folks talk about a southern preacher who had dreams of equality for his children, a man that could do 300 things with a peanut and a woman who refused to give up her seat on a bus. While King, Carver and Parks were among the great contributors of America and also wonderful people to learn about, there is a bit more to knowing your history than repeatedly hearing the accomplishments of a few men and women every year around February. Contrary to popular belief black history is relevant 365 days a year and even those extra 24 hours you get on leap year.

The definition of history is the study of past events, particularly in human affairs. Reaching further, true history has to be accurate and significant. This definition also includes your own personal history. We actually wouldn’t have an identity if we didn’t remember any of our own personal history. We must take time to learn about and remember those who came before and made huge sacrifices that sometimes cost them their lives, so that we may have things such as freedom, the right to learn and vote which is often taken for granted.

Characteristics, things and practices that are passed down through the years, from one generation to the next is a part of our heritage. No matter how big or small, people create history and heritage every day. The knowledge of this greatly impacts the way we view current events and ideas and how we shape our plans for the future. It has been said that “he who controls the past controls the future”.

Learning about your heritage could be anything from remembering a family member’s cake recipe to going to a museum to see artifacts from ancient African kingdoms. Of course, those of us who classify ourselves as African Americans or Black are a part of very diverse ethnic backgrounds. We certainly encourage embracing and learning about all of your diversity. However, we want to make sure that we include all of the marvelous black history and heritage that may have been omitted somewhere in between learning about Paul Bunyan and his blue ox (Babe) and Christopher Columbus sailing the ocean blue in whatever year that was.

Correct. In 1492, he sailed the ocean blue… We know you remember the jingle.

For thousands of years people kept their histories and heritage alive by speaking, showing and doing. Try not to rely on others to teach you everything about your history. Remember it is not called “your story”, it is called “his story”, and whoever he is, he may not always tell your story properly.

When learning about your history, or anything for that matter, reinforce your knowledge with credible references whenever possible. Future generations are counting on us to pass on our wonderful history accurately.

In the current era of fast technological advancement and vast amounts of information via the world wide web, our history sometimes gets lost. However, we can use these technological advancements to our advantage. You may not feel like browsing through giant encyclopedias at the library or going to a museum, but you can certainly open up the internet browser and “Google” it.

History can create pride, inspire and give a sense of self. We as humans often mimic our surroundings and what we can relate to. Seeing the achievements of others we relate to help us achieve. If we can’t see ourselves achieving a certain goal, mostly likely we won’t be able to get there. Having a clear vision and truly believing in ourselves is the greater part of the battle to succeeding. Lets win the battle.

Join us on the journey to discovering our history and heritage. If we know the truth, we won’t believe the lies.

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