A new viral hashtag is shattering stereotypes about the way many Americans view Black History Month.
#HistoricPOC, founded by #solidarityisforwhitewomen hashtag creator Mikki Kendall, has taken social media by storm this week. She created a platform to showcase the diversity of multiculturalism and race throughout America's history and prove that there is so much more for us to learn.
Understanding the power of the photograph, Kendall's goal in creating the hashtag was to try to dismantle the singular narrative of American history pervasive throughout both the media and the education system. "I have a history degree. I know that a lot of the problem of the way it is taught in schools," she told Quartz's Reniqua Allen. "The easiest way to spread information and make it real to people IMO is photos."
The democratic power of social media underlying this hashtag attests to the fact that there is no universal "history" but rather histories — most of which get lost or overlook in the telling of "American history." This is important to remember during Black History Month, when all minority voices, and not just those approved by white people, deserve recognition and respect.
#HistoricPOC has been taken up by all people of color in order to tell inspiring stories the world so desperately needs to hear. The hashtag effectively takes Black History Month out of the hands of white people and places it back in the hands of those who are able to showcase the brilliant diversity of America's landscape.
The hashtag has of course also gone viral on Tumblr:
#HistoricPOC is shattering the white sanctioned frame through which so much of history is currently digested, discussed and understood in the U.S. Through the rich, visual archive being collected and displayed via this hashtag, Black History Month is arguably being celebrated in the best way possible.