Black History Month, which began as Negro History Week, has been observed in some form or fashion in the U.S. every February since 1926, and it has always been controversial. Some critics insist that Black History Month is divisive because there's only American history.

But there's evidence aplenty that American history has been poorly taught. Perhaps because some cannot accept that their greatest heroes were not pristine -- can't accept either that from day one America's grand experiment with freedom and democracy was riddled with glaring contradictions.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal," the Declaration of Independence says. But exceptions were allowed. Exceptions that begot civil war, mean-spirited laws, common customs, junk science and religious dogmas intended to daily remind millions of Americans that they were not equal.

There's an old saying that "People who don't know their history are doomed to repeat it." Meanwhile, it is a gift to have serious historians who aren't afraid that they may find skeletons in closets or scoundrels lurking in the old family tree.

Black History Month, for those who dare, is a fine time to go where you've never gone to hopefully experience and to learn what you may have believed you'd never really have any need to know.

I'm Betty Baye, and that's my Point of View.