The idea of February being “Black History Month” seems to be a great idea, until one considers that African-Americans receive the short end of the stick. Shukree Hassan Tilghman is a filmmaker-cum-comedian, and has created More Than A Month in the hopes of ending Black History Month. Tilghman’s point in this piece is that February is the shortest month, and the compartmentalizing of the entirety of Black accomplishments and contributions to arts, literature, music, science, and recorded history discredits these results.
Providing individuals with information about these endeavors over the course of the whole year should be the first step taken. For African-Americans, knowing from whence one came and the issues still present in realizing an equal voice in American society is absolutely essential. There is more than enough humor present in this documentary to keep things light, but Tilghman does a great job in fostering discussion about this salient issue.
I would recommend More Than A Month to anyone that wants background information about the creation of monthly ethnic celebrations, and for any course that wishes to showcase the benefits and detriments to having specific groups focused on on a monthly basis. The dominant groups still are able to have their history be told over the course of the rest of the year. There are a number of special features that have been placed on More Than A Month. Family History is More than a Month showcases the richness of familial experience, which is ignored for identification along wider racial lines. Make sure to pick up this DVD release if you would like to be keyed in on the interplay of positive and negative trends regarding the placing of African-American history and accomplishments into the month of February.
More Than A Month (DVD) / 2013 PBS / 60 Minutes / http://www.shoppbs.com