Yay! One Extra Day for Black History Month

It’s time to learn about Black people year-round

Jeffrey Kass
ZORA
Published in
5 min readFeb 12, 2024

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New idea concept. Unrecognizable black businessman holding illuminated light bulb in hand while sitting at workplace in office; ironically, Black inventor Louis Latimer contributed to the light bulb by inventing the carbon filament
Image: Shuterstock/Prostock-studio

Even though it’s only been four years, I can barely remember any years when we got to experience February 29.

As everyone knows, 2024 is a leap year. 366 days. And a full 29 days instead of 28 in February. That means we get a whopping one more day to celebrate and learn about Black history.

The problem with the month, though, is Black history isn’t a sideline issue. It’s not an elective. It’s part of all history.

To relegate the accomplishments and impact of Black people to one short month reinforces our deep, unconscious bias, caused by generations of so-called education, that pretends Black people haven’t contributed. That they aren’t worthy of inclusion into the rest of history.

The thing is, they are worthy. Indeed, given what Black people have endured, their impact is actually quite remarkable. From science to culture to fashion to music to sports to literature to justice.

We all know about Thomas Edison, but our schools conveniently forgot to tell us about Black scientist Louis Latimer, who invented and patented the carbon filament — that piece of the light bulb that keeps it on so you can read this essay at night. Latimer made it so the light bulb could be sold to the masses. I know. Small detail.

Alexander Graham Bell, Ben Franklin, the Wright brothers and Henry Ford are all household names. But who among us knows the likes of Black science geniuses Garrett Morgan, Sarah Boone, Alexander Miles, Charles Drew, Granville Woods, Otis Boykin or Benjamin Banneker? Impactful Black inventors, engineers and authors.

They gave us incredible inventions. The refrigerated truck so we could transport food. The modern traffic light. Elevator doors that could open and close on their own. The ironing board. The walkie talkie. The microphone. Dozens of cutting-edge agricultural inventions we take for granted.

None of us learned about Shirley Ann Jackson whose research led to the portable fax machine, the touch tone telephone, call-waiting and caller ID.

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Jeffrey Kass
ZORA
Writer for

A Medium Top Writer on Racism, Diversity, Education, History and Parenting | Speaker | Award-Winning Author | Latest Book: Black Batwoman V. White Jesus | Dad