A White Dude’s Perspective on Black History Month

Jack Berens, Co-editor

This will be more of a blurb than an article.

As a white guy in America, I recognize that I have white male heterosexual privilege.  No, society does not ascribe me specific rights that other demographics do not enjoy.  However, I recognize that I have perceptions and benefits of the doubt that other groups – from women to people of color to the LGBTQ+ community – do not.  I relay this because I fully understand that I am not equipped in the personal background to best describe what it means to be a minority and the importance of Black History Month in a historically oppressive country.

After reading Ta-Nehisi Coates’s articles in The Atlantic, my eyes were opened how black people can be generalized or oversimplified in American culture.  Many ways that black people are discriminated against are subconscious, and of course, I’m not excusing this by any means, but I think that should signal to white society to consciously analyze and reflect on biases that may seep into our thoughts and words.  Most importantly, black people (and no demographic) is a monolith.  Look at people as people and unique individuals, not just in February.  One must not hark back to Harriet Tubman to revel in black’s accomplishments in history because black people, just like every other type of people, are constantly innovating.