Thursday , 24 April 2014
Nerd At The Cool Table
Black History Month: Get rid of it or Keep it? (By @EssentialTwist)

Black History Month: Get rid of it or Keep it? (By @EssentialTwist)

Fux Black History Month:

At 21 years old, I’ve come to the conclusion, like many others have, that it’s time to eliminate Black History Month. Quite simply, I see absolutely no purpose in it and it feels as though that by continuing it, it holds the people that are supposed to be celebrated during that time, back. I remember the first time I heard that some campus’ have  “Compton Cookouts” during Black History Month….. Really? Is that where we as a people are?

My first transgression is of course the most obvious – it’s the shortest month of the year. Talk about disrespect. Out of all the months, why February? You could have chosen any; some even have double representations, yet we get stuck with the 28 (sometimes 29) days a month.

Second – does anyone actually acknowledge it other than BET? Not on my television. No network television, cable television, properly acknowledges the time. And it’s always relegated to the token black person on the show to mention the month during some type of February sweeps situation. In schools, it’s not mentioned past the elementary age in places where there is a significant black population.

Third – we’re not talking black pride. It’s specifically history. Black history is American History.  To give it, it’s own separate month is like saying that it’s only a mere segment, and the other 11 months are dedicated to white history. I’m not just talking about Black history month – any history month should be abolished. And while it sometimes might definitely be necessary and fully warranted, we gotta stop playing the race card as easily as we do.  As a country, we should be coming together.  Not singling out specific aspects of our history to briefly shine a light on.  By acknowledging “black history”, we point out the differences between us. The differences that we’re so quick to say we’ve passed. And enough of people acknowledging it like it’s some sort of savior for black people. What have you done for the culture you cling to dearly lately?( I’m kinda okay with saying nothing really).

I will no longer be seeing the month after January as black history month, rather Valentine’s month (a different conversation), Presidents’ week AKA the first week of no school after winter break, and of course as previously mentioned, February television sweeps.

Other side of the fence: WE NEED Black History Month:

As a 24 year old black female, raised by Rasta parents, I believe that Black History Month is not what it’s supposed to be because Black people aren’t what they’re supposed to be. And for that reason, a Black History Month (no matter how defunct it may be) is a necessity to show black people that we haven’t moved up the ladder… A constant reminder that ya’ll niggas is still niggas. The fact that a national history month is only acknowledged on BET by the ceremonious replays of “Roots” – shows that black people still live in a separate world. Hell, the fact that there is a BET shows that our journey is a different journey.

It is no lie that my race acts up, blah, blah, blah, we like bitches and hoes, we like fried chicken, we like long extensions, blah, blah, blah. But those are my people and even though we clearly don’t have it all together, Black History Month is an effort to unite all us under one mission, which is learning about ourselves.

Now, not every black person attends a “Tax Refund Strip-a-thon” hosted by Plies or has an EBT card. Actually a very large portion hold PhD’s, law degrees, professional jobs and one is even president of the United States. Right now, there isn’t a better time to be black. But those who throw the “Tax Refund Strip-a-thon” are more overtly proud of their blackness because they’re not trying to fit into a box like most black professionals.

Another argument is that black people shouldn’t have a month because no other people have a month. To that, I say… black people were the only ones picking them whitey’s cotton too… black people didn’t get their 40 acres and a mule… and black people—no matter how much we are portrayed as insensitive pieces of dark meat— are people who have been through a whole hell of a lot.

The reason we don’t have the media and educators pushing the Black History message is because they’re all white. They don’t care! It’s our business and we can’t even agree to promote the shortest month of the year. So smh… My viewpoint is not to abolish the month, it’s rather to spoon feed it down you ignorant, pants-sagging, ashy-ankled male and females I call my family.

*****

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One comment

  1. Native Americans have their own history month as well (celebrated in November). Its celebrated in February to honor the births of Frederick Douglas and Abraham Lincoln (2 men important to black history); Although I agree that black history should be a part of the whole American history, this is not the case. Black history was unheard of in history books, so (not-so-famous) black Americans established black history week to fill the void of teaching the importance of blacks in America. Being that our school aged children’s history books till suck, we most def still need the holiday. But im hoping one day we can have one big American history book

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