Well, since their purpose is not to unite anyone, they could have a side effect among some people of causing alienation. Whatever.
Rather than “uniting” anyone, the purpose of Black History Month (and there are others, they just don’t get the same media attention), is to refute the common misconceptions that black people have never contributed anything but brute muscle to this country.
I’m not sure it’s working, but that was the intent. I still run into people who claim that no black person has every accomplished anything worthwhile. One of our drop-in racist trolls was whining a few months ago that George Washington Carver gets lionized simply for playing around with peanuts. This, of course, ignores that fact that Carver almost singlehandedly saved an enormous amount of Southern farmland by finding ways to develop marketable products from peanuts. Peanuts (especially in the days before chemical fertilizers) were a valuable way to restore land that had been “farmed out” by cotton. No one would grow peanuts, however, because they were simply a low-priced food for poor people–goobers. The cotton planters would simply continue planting cotton, a cash crop, until the soil gave out. Carver saved them by providing a way to make money on their rotattion crop.
Despite living in the middle of cotton country, our troll had no idea that that was what Carver had done.
Of course, some blacks have now gone off the deep end the other direction claiming that no aspect of “white” civilization was not a “black” development that has been stolen. (Whatever.)
The original intent, however, was to eliminate ignorance so that people were not making stupid statements that “those people” had never done anything worthwhile (and, by extension, never would do anything worthwhile).
“Uniting the people” is not the goal. Can the goal be better served by teaching genuine history about all people? Possibly. Does Black History Month accomplish its goal? Possibly not.
It is probably not fair to complain, however, that it is not accomplishing something that it was never inteded to accomplish.