No comments yet

Black History is American History

Why might we observe Black History Month? Because Black history is American history, but the contributions of African Americans are overlooked in most history books used in schools. To read American history from a Black perspective is immensely important to us today. Elements I’ve come to look for in sources for learning Black history include:

  • the long and painful story of discriminatory ideas, laws, and actions against Black people,
  • the varied and courageous forms of resistance to discrimination and dehumanization that have been practiced by Black Americans through the centuries,
  • the repeated pattern of Black advancement being met with discriminatory laws and, often, with violence,
  • the many examples of individual Black Americans who have excelled in every field (since most of us did not learn about more than a half-dozen to a dozen Black Americans in high school or college classes),
  • the variety of ways in which Black Americans, through their protest and struggle for equal rights, have helped our country grow into a fuller representation of the democracy our founding documents aspired to envision,
  • the connections that show how the ideas around past laws get recycled and repackaged and the connections that show how past laws and practices shape current realities.

For a broad overview of Black History, I suggest:


  • Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, Ibram X. Kendi
  • The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story, Nikole Hannah-Jones, et al

YouTube Videos:

  • Crash Course: Black American History
  • Lectures by the authors of books on Black History
  • Lectures/speeches by historical Black figures over the last 80 years.

If you’ve found something helpful, I’d love to know about it! – Pastor Dan Milford

Post a comment