Friday, February 2, 2024
I will never understand the significance of designing a month to celebrate black history. What does that even mean? Maybe I’m just naive or maybe cantankerous, but after 400 years of being in a strange land, after being subjugated, humiliated, marginalized, disrespected, emasculated, castrated and finally ghettoized, we are given a month to pay lip service to the blacks, as one infamous politician calls us. We get to hear about all the heroics and achievements of black people; we get to sing Kumbaya and pat each other on the back. The press and politicians tell us how far we have come, all the progress made, including electing a black president!
Meanwhile, the police are still killing us as if though we were prey; we are still at the lowest rung on the ladder. The safeguards put in place to protect us, to lift us out of poverty, to give our kids a chance to survive after being born—safe neighborhoods, good schools, our civil rights—are being taken from us by the Supreme Court, by the police, by our politicians. This is happening in the 21st century, folks, right now.
We have states, mostly southern states, rewriting history, denying us the chance to learn how we are in the position in which we find ourselves, saying that slavery was beneficial for us, that our heroes aren’t real heroes, not according to some of their curriculums. They are whitewashing King, Maya Angelou, Rosa Parks, Malcom X, and all those who stood up and said, enough! They are making them disappear, while fighting for the monuments to traitors that fought to keep us in bondage, fighting for them to remain in public view, on public lands that we pay taxes for!
What is going on? Where’s the outrage? Even our so-called black leaders are just going along to get along. Kind of like the Belize/Guatemala problem, there’s no sense of urgency, fire in the belly to stand up, and again, say, enough! We are bombarded with propaganda through social media. We have become so materialistic that we have lost the essence of our spiritual being. We have become selfish and self-contained and tribal, and I mean that in the worse manner possible!
For most of us, this farce known as black history month is a story that begins in 1619, with slavery and all the after-effects of that dark period. The thing is, black peoples have inhabited this earth since the day man started to stand upright and began to wander this earth. A time when we were noble and creative, not in the Western sense, but noble and familial and proud. We lived mostly in Africa, we fought each other, we cooperated with each other, we sometimes enslaved each other, but we had free will. Freedom to be ourselves, that is, until the shackles came and claimed us.
So, maybe some see black history month as some consolation for the dark, cruel, everlasting punishment that resulted from slavery. But our history is much more than the last 400 years; it goes back to hundreds of thousands of years, ever since we became Homo sapiens. We were not slaves then; where’s the celebration for that?
What’s that line that Malcom X said in one of his speeches about being hoodwinked, bamboozled, led astray? Well, he was right! We all see the month of February as our month, we black peoples. No, it’s not; it’s just another bribe to keep us pliant and grateful and good house niggers!