Friday, February 07, 2014

BHM2014 - An Education Waiting to Happen

A few years ago I wrote this. And two years ago, I wrote this. Put those two posts together and you can see that I really had no intention of writing about Black History Month (BHM2014) at all. I am really of the mindset that if a group wants others to know more about their culture, then they would 1. teach their children about said culture and 2. teach others - all the time- about the outstanding culture that they come from. I never see that during BHM. I mean,  ok, I have a couple friends on Facebook who will post about BHM, but even those posts are of the more well known activists, educators and civil rights figures. Not that I care about that, I am just excited that someone is making an effort. But two, possibly three, friends… out of 800? I think I am safe with the assumption that the biggest secret of BHM is that Black people are more than slavery and the Civil Rights Movement; which is a shame. Still, I have to say that I was going to skip out on participating in BHM2014 because I am always interested in seeing exactly WHAT people will do when they notice a problem going unchecked.

Then, February 1st happened. February 1, 2014, the google doodle- heard around the world- was of Harriet Tubman, raising a lamp. The responses were quick and very different. Some people were glad to see that Google put forth some effort to welcome BHM. Some people complained (to be expected) that Google wanted to be sure to remind Black people that we were once slaves. These are (I'm sure) the same people who would also complain if Google did nothing, or not say anything to the companies that put forth absolutely no effort. Then came the foolishness that Zimmerman is going to be involved in a celebrity fight. First, I was unaware that Zimmerman was a "celebrity" and second, I am sure thousands of people will actually watch that fight. The misguided people will watch, cheering for Zimmerman to get knocked the fuck out, all the while helping to line his pockets with money and endorsements… because people don't think about the consequences of their watching. They just have short sighted goals.

Going with the idea of NOT being shortsighted, I have decided that I should participate in the public celebration of BHM2014. For one simple reason: If I don't, I will have no one else to blame for people not knowing Black History. Y'all I am so tired of seeing BHM just comprised of Martin Luther King, Jr, Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman and all the rest of the regulars. I hate it. The Black community is so much more than the 1800s and the 1960s. You know, a LOT of shit happened between the time we were imported here and the death of MLK. Let the school books tell it, Black History Month should be  a constant repeat of those mentioned above and possibly throw in Rosa Parks, possibly Booker T. Washington and WEB DuBois, if you are being fancy. If you ask SOME people, Black History Month is not necessary because ere since we elected a Black President we have because post-racial America. Oh, the ignorance. That, my friends, is unacceptable… Hot, Black and Bitter to the rescue. Starting tomorrow I will post (at least ) 28 of the unsung heroes of this movement known as Black Life in America. Some people you will have never heard of, which is cool because I am going to use this as a teaching experience. Because I have moved back to my hometown- I will let you know, I am definitely going to include some Black Ohioans. Watch the blog for the rest of the month, learn something new and share it.

No one should be comfortable being completely ignorant of American History and that what Black History month is about… American History, the good, the bad and everything in between. Let's get to learning, y'all.


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