May 18, 2024

Black History Month: Black Struggle

by Sarah Lechner

“I wasn’t seen as being pregnant, but rather as being a black woman from Africa,” she says. Shea Okbalaogo, an Austrian mom blogger, also known as “servusmami”, after visiting the doctor. But Shea isn’t the only black person involved to this day racism And discrimination Faces. For decades, black people have been fighting for equal rights.

Martin Luther King JrAnd pink gardensAnd Harriet Tubman or Angelo Solomon are just a few examples of many. With the passage of time Black historical month (“Black Historical Month”). This month is not only about celebrating black stories and achievements, but also about raising awareness.

bring them to life

February has been the official Black History Month in the United States since the 1970s. However, it arose earlier: in 1926 the “Negro History Week” was organized by Carter J Woodson bring them to life. The co-founder of what is now the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) spent a week raising awareness of the achievements of Black Americans and others of African descent.

Woodson didn’t just pick the second week of February: that week was the date Frederick Douglass And Abraham Lincoln together. The former is one of the main abolitionists (the movement to abolish slavery), while Lincoln was the first US president to call for the abolition of slavery.

black resistance

Negro History Week inspired many schools and communities across the country and began organizing local celebrations, performances, and educational events. As a result, the week is gaining more and more popularity. Ultimately, the civil rights movements of the late 1960s created such a strong awareness of the black community that President Gerald Ford officially designated February as Black History Month in 1976.

Today Black History Month is celebrated not only in the USA, but also in Canada and Ireland. The Special Month has also been recognized in the UK. Asala set her interest for the month of February from the very beginning. In 2023, “Black Resistance” is the theme, that is, “Black Resistance”. ASALH is officially calling for an intensified investigation into how African Americans “resist historical and ongoing oppression in all its forms, particularly racial terrorism through lynchings, racial massacres and police killings.”

February has also been Austria’s Black History Month for several years. From events and exhibitions to workshops, everything is included. Like last year, this year there was an opening event, on February 2, at the Main Library in Vienna. New magazineAnd Fresh Feelings Radio And I organized the event. Fifteen clubs, initiatives and institutions from various fields of society participated in the conference. On February 24, there will be a closing concert at Vila Vida (also in Vienna).

Fighting racism

One of the associations present at the inaugural event, along with many others, is the Black Women’s Community (SFC). The focus here is on the empowerment of black women and girls.

Joy Adenike Breiner is the leader of the SFC girl group and is already noticing that they are becoming more visible to the outside world, especially this month. “But I hope for more attention in general, not just in February, but more and more recognition, because black people just didn’t exist two generations ago,” Joy asserts.

Chia Okpalaugo also hopes the month will create greater awareness. She is Austrian, but she is not considered one. Although she speaks the language fluently, she is often addressed in broken German or English. When they answer the question “Where are you from?” They usually say: “No, where are you really from?”

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This is exactly why Black History Month is so important to her, because, in other words: “It gives our history a different meaning. It wasn’t just about sad slavery and not just poor victims, it’s actually a hero story of people who survived and achieved great things. Here we are too!” ”

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