Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Has Black History Month Made Us Lazy?

Today is February 1st, which means it is the first day of Black History Month. People have said several things about Black History Month being the shortest month of the year, etc. In fact, one of my Twitter buddies said that his February wish was that Black History Month took place during the longest month of the year, not the shortest. I responded, of course, with "Why? We only teach about the same top five Black people." He agreed, and said that it was sad that our kids don't get to know about more people. So here is my question- has having a month where we are supposed to celebrate African American history made us lazy? Have we started to see it as a burden, and therefore started to teach the same stuff about the same people every year? Are we even using the few days we have to teach ANYONE about the dramatic effect that African Americans have had on this country? If not, who is to blame?

So, I get easily annoyed, right?! (LOL) Well, nothing really "toast my buns" as much as holier than thou people (in ANY situation- any topic). In this situation, I am thoroughly turned off by Blacker than Black people who judge me (or anyone else) because I don't want to move back to Africa and live in a village. Or because I date outside my race; or have the audacity to correct Black men, women and children if they get out of line. Man, please. Where are the Blacker than Blacks during February? Why aren't they loading up their facebook news feeds with a different Black trendsetter, every day in February? Why aren't they out in their communities making a difference? Why aren't they mentoring? Could it be because they don't know 28 Black trendsetters, innovators, scholars? Could it be they are running from their communities? Don't know how to be an effective mentor? *crickets* I know more than 28 Black innovators, but damn me for calling your ass out and bringing home white boys, right?! Sickening!!

Where would the United States be without the inventions of Black people? Have you ever thought about that? Do you teach your children about the extraordinary things that Blacks overcame- some not even 50 years ago (truthfully some feats were overcome last week, yesterday even!)- in order to make the life that they have more comfortable? When they ask you for help with a school project on African American history, do YOU do research on someone out of the "safe box" and help them find out about someone new... or do you ram MLK down their throats for another year? Don't get me wrong- MLK was fabulous. He was a voice when many didn't have one. He made a stand, and sacrificed his life for the betterment of ALL of us... but he wasn't at those rallies alone! He wasn't the only Black man thrown in jail! He wasn't the only man who lost his life during the Civil Rights Movement. Right?!

Do we deserve 28 days, if we are only using 5... OK, maybe we are using 10. WTF are you doing the other 18? Should you even be complaining if you don't fully use the month you have been given? Can you name more than 10 Black educators, innovators, politicians, etc.?? And don't come at me with Barack Obama, Cornel West, MLK, Malcolm X, Farrakhan, Rosa Parks, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Fredrick Douglas, Marcus Garvey, Stokely Carmichael, Huey Newton, Angela Davis, Maya Angelou, Eldridge Cleaver, or anyone like that- the people that EVERY one knows about (or should). For all you lovelies in Greek organizations-- I am not talking about people that are your brothers and sisters, either-- because while those people were surely revolutionaries, our culture has had WAY more revolutionaries than that, right?

My point is this: until we are willing to fully USE all the days that are allotted to us to celebrate the culture, beauty and astounding richness of African American history in this country and beyond, we really shouldn't complain about having the shortest month of the year. Because really- without any doubt- it is OUR responsibility to make Black History Month happen, every month, every week, EVERY day. So, get on your job... do better.


Jon Daniels said...


Anonymous said...

Well spoken!

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