UNITED AGAINST RACISM
YEAR-ROUND BIPOC AWARENESS
Martin Luther King Junior Day honors the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King who fought for justice and equality along with Black individuals during the civil rights movement. This day is used to celebrate and honor Martin Luther King while simultaneously teaching younger generations about his impact and the importance of equality and justice for all. As a day of service, his followers choose to use this day to serve those in their community in hospitals, prisons, schools, and shelters.
Black History Month is celebrated across seven different countries to bring awareness to the history and oftentimes neglected accomplishments of Black Individuals. This month-long celebration gives many opportunities to share knowledge and better understand the impact that Black individuals have made and continue to make on present-day society. Additionally, it allows people to understand Black heritage, culture, and customs which are oftentimes overlooked. The month celebrates Black authors, writers, artists, historians, actors, etc. going beyond the stories of racism and slavery and instead putting Black achievements into the spotlight.
Celebrated on the day that police in South Africa open fired and killed 69 people at a peaceful protest of Apartheid laws, the International Day of for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is held to bring awareness on the discrimination people of color face daily. This day was proclaimed in South Africa in 1966 which signifies the struggles of police apartheid and brutality but has expanded as it is a struggle people face internationally. The aim of this day is to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination through education and the rejection of stereotypes.
Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month is an entire month dedicated to bringing awareness to Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who have played a major part in shaping American society as it is known today. Throughout the month, stories, accomplishments, books, inventions, policies, etc. of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are shared to highlight their extraordinary accomplishments that oftentimes go unnoticed in History textbooks. The Month of May was chosen as a way to commemorate the first Japanese Immigration to the United States on May 7th, 1843, and to mark the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10th, 1869, as most of the workers who laid tracks were Chinese Immigrants.
Also known as the Second Independence Day, Juneteenth is the celebration of the emancipation of Slavery in the United States. Along with this, it is a day to celebrate African American Culture and accomplishments. Juneteenth was formally recognized on a holiday on June 17th, 2021 by United States President Joe Biden, but people have been celebrating since 1865 where the observance originated in Galveston, Texas.
After the Civil War ended, on paper it said that all men were equal and everyone was to be treated the same. This, however, was very far from reality, seen especially when it came to voting, as there were many strategies put into place to prevent minority communities from voting in elections. Some of these methods included having to complete a literacy test and having Ku Klux Klan members haunt the polls scaring people away from voting. The Voting Rights Act of 1965, signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson, prohibited discriminatory voting practices in the United States which allowed for minorities to vote across the country. This was a huge step for equality for minorities, but especially the Black community, within the United States.
Spanning from September 15th to October 15th, Hispanic Heritage month honors the contributions of American people who have roots in Central America, South America, Spain, and the Spanish-speaking nations of the Caribbean. This month-long celebration draws attention to the achievements and notable contributions of Hispanic Americans in literature, science, mathematics, policy, the arts, etc. while also celebrating Hispanic culture through the food, songs, dance, and customs. Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from September to October as it marks the independence of a multitude of Latin American Countries like El Salvador and Honduras.
Coined in October of 2021, Indigenous People’s Day is the celebration of the valuable contributions of Indigenous people in the United States. Prior to the colonization of the Americas, Indigenous People’s were cultivating, caring, and contributing to the land that many of us today call home. Through colonization, Indigenous people were displaced and forced to assimilate, losing their culture and their home simultaneously. Indigenous People’s Day falls on what is also known as Columbus Day but serves as the antithesis by educating about the harm Columbus inflicted on indigenous people who were living in the Americas. This day is used to highlight the contributions that Indigenous peoples have made throughout History, honor America’s first inhabitants and recognize/educate about the many tribal nations that are still around today.