February is the month of love, the shortest month of the year and also Black History month
Oddly, or unfortunately - depends on how you choose to see it - February was the only time of the year that I, as a student, learned historical information involving African-Americans that went beyond slavery, the Emancipation Proclamation and the Civil Rights movement...at least on a larger scale than what I learned from my own research.
It is often said that the importance of learning about history is so we're not doomed to repeat it. This brings the song "Strange Fruit" to mind. Not sure how many of you are familiar with the song, but its lyrics describe lynching in a poetic and disturbing way due to much of the realism infused in the imagery invoked by the words. Sung by the legendary Billie Holiday, "Strange Fruit" was an ode to an America of her present - now, I pray, America past - a time where lynchings and other acts of violence were utilized to thrust a crushing blow to those, primarily black men and women, seeking justice beyond second class citizenship, to take hold of the promise shouted out by the Declaration of Independence: That all men are created equal.
Learning beyond the basic curriculum was and is important, even today. Countless strides have been made and February is a month where many improvements and steps-forward are recognized, giving America a more inclusive tone.
Is this the first you've heard of "Strange Fruit?" If so, you can click here to see a performance of the song.