Should We Still Celebrate Black History Month?

The original intent of the month was to uplift the struggle for racial equality in the U.S. Does it still serve that end?

Secretary Lonnie Bunch III
Lonnie Bunch III, former president of the Chicago Historical Society and former Director of the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture, now secretary of the Smithsonian. Jason Marck / WBEZ
Secretary Lonnie Bunch III
Lonnie Bunch III, former president of the Chicago Historical Society and former Director of the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture, now secretary of the Smithsonian. Jason Marck / WBEZ

Should We Still Celebrate Black History Month?

The original intent of the month was to uplift the struggle for racial equality in the U.S. Does it still serve that end?

The U.S. is currently grappling with how it approaches issues of race.

One seemingly counterintuitive question: Is recognizing a Black History Month a good thing? Meaning, does it still help in the struggle for racial equity? Some critics say the month marginalizes the Black experience, while many others continue to see it as a critical time to recognize Black history.

Reset brings on the current head of the Smithsonian — the first Black historian to ever hold the position — and two Black writers who have depicted the Black American experience to weigh in on those questions.

GUESTS: Lonnie Bunch III, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution; founding director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

Deborah Douglas, Eugene S. Pulliam Distinguished Visiting Professor of Journalism at DePauw University; author of “U.S. Civil Rights Trail: A Traveler’s Guide to the People, Places and Events That Made the Movement

Mitchell Jackson, professor of creative writing at the University of Chicago; author of “Survival Math: Notes On An All American Family