This February marks the annual celebration of Black History Month, a time to recognize and honor the many contributions of African Americans and to celebrate their achievements and central role in U.S. History. February has been designated as such by every U.S. president since 1976. Each year since its inception, this month has had thematic overtones, focusing in on one or more specific groups who have had a major impact on U.S. culture and history.
The theme for this year is Black Health and Wellness, honoring medical scholars and health care providers. Aside from those practitioners of western medicine, the month also honors those who have engaged in traditional medicine as well, such as doulas, naturopaths and herbalists throughout African Diaspora.
“There is no American history without African American History. The black experience is embedded in everything we think of as American history” - Sara Clarke Kaplan, executive director of the Antiracist Research & Policy Center
This year’s theme of health and wellness also delves into how, historically, African American Communities have been vastly underserved by the American healthcare system. This has held true since the Jim Crow era of “Whites Only” hospitals and black facilities being understaffed and underfunded, if available at all. Also, as shown by the COVIFD-19 pandemic, there remains a widespread disparity of access to quality healthcare.
“Black History Month is about the lived, shared experience of all African Americans, high and low, famous and obscure, and how those experiences have shaped and challenged and ultimately strengthened America” – Barack Obama
#DEI #DandI #DEIatCTI #BlackHistoryMonth #HealthandWellness