Hear Us, See Us: We Are More Than One Month
Updated: Feb 9
Introducing a new series of virtual lectures that bring communities and educators together to discuss the importance of talking about all history, all year.
Black History Month. Women's History Month. Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Hispanic Heritage Month. Native American or American Indian Heritage Month. Through these months, we honor and highlight the contributions of populations too often left out of the broader narrative of American history. These months serve an important purpose in elevating diverse voices out of the dusty annals of history.
But how can we do better? How do we ensure that these stories are not relegated to a designated heritage month and instead are woven into every discussion, lesson, lecture, book, or narrative about our shared History with a capital H?
When I was in school I often wondered why I only learned about Black History during February. I knew that the contributions of Black Americans did not all take place in one month, so why did we only hear about them in one month?
In February, students may learn that in 1619, the first Africans were brought to this country and enslaved. They are taught about Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman. They are reminded of Dr. King's "I Have A Dream" speech. Many other African American accomplishments are hailed during this four-week period and then after February 28, we move on to the next group of people and rarely discuss the accomplishments of African Americans. The same happens after Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and Hispanic Heritage Month and Native American Heritage month and on and on. But History—our collective shared story as Americans—should be taught, shared, and discussed all year.
The Accokeek Foundation is introducing a new history series, “Hear Us, See Us: We Are More Than One Month”.
To that end, the Accokeek Foundation is introducing a new history series, “Hear Us, See Us: We Are More Than One Month”. This series is not meant to condemn the established heritage months. Instead, it hopes to bring communities and educators together to discuss the importance of talking about all history all year, in addition to recognizing those months.
Through blog posts, panels, museum theatre, and the opportunity for question and answer sessions the series will span 2021 and hopefully beyond, inspiring much-needed conversations and communication.
To kick-off the series, I chatted with two of my colleagues in the field. See our conversations below.
African American Interpretation and Special Projects Coordinator at George Washington's Mount Vernon
Assistant Division Chief, Historical Resources at Maryland National Capital Parks and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC)
The Accokeek Foundation is located in Piscataway Park, within the traditional ancestral homelands of Piscataway People both past and present. We acknowledge and honor with gratitude the land and waterways, and the people who have stewarded this land throughout the generations. We are humbled and honored to be able to carry on in this tradition. The Accokeek Foundation’s mission is to cultivate passion for the natural and cultural heritage of Piscataway Park and commitment to stewardship and sustainability. One way we are committed to this mission is through partnering with other institutions to explore the history we all share.