Today is the first day of February which means it’s the first day of Black History Month. It began in 1976 to commemorate the achievements of African-Americans down through history, but it also provides a door which can open between the races, to begin the dialogue on what unites all of us and what provides our unique heritages. When it comes to race relations, it has been said that, “We don’t know what we don’t know.” In other words, we don’t even know where to start when we want to reach out to people of a different race. Black History Month gives us some concrete knowledge of the Black experience in America. When we hear the stories of Harriet Tubman, of Muhammad Ali, of Dr. Martin Luther King and of President Barack Obama, it is easy for each of us, regardless of race, to appreciate and identify with these individuals. Learning historical facts is an important first step in improving race relations at Churchville-Chili. However, it is just the beginning. We must realize that, we not only “don’t know what we don’t know,” what we do know may not be right, so it is vital to have an open mind when approaching challenging situations dealing with race. Getting to know and like other people, however different on the surface, is not impossible. In fact, it can be fun. Keep an open mind and learn what you can during and after Black History Month.
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