Hey you guys,
I was talking to my mentor today (a businessman with multiple degrees, including one in Black History - it's relevant - not trying to impress you) and I asked, "Wouldn't Black History Month be for the sake of non-Black Americans? We should be learning and celebrating it year 'round, right?"
It started a great discussion on the purpose of Black History Month and how I am really not caring this year. I mean, I haven't been truly excited about Black History Month since I was in elementary school - my school hosted (and still does) a Jeopardy style trivia game and we would learn hundreds and hundreds of facts so that we could compete against other teams at our respective grade levels. We also had a Martin Luther King, Jr. essay contest (which I never won...I was heated about that), and we took cool field trips to see the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre and stuff like that. (We took cool field trips all year actually...)
So Black History Month used to be fun. It used to be a lot of work, too. But it used to mean something. I guess it meant a lot because I, as a child, was ignorant. Learning about the history of Black Americans was exciting.
Now as an adult, while I don't know it all, I know a lot. I know enough to know that 'taking pride' in my history has not made me or my community one solitary dollar. I know that knowing the Black history that I do know depresses me because we have completely dropped the ball. I know that Black Americans as a whole still can't think their way out of a paper bag (an old country adage my mom uses) because if we could we would be using our historical knowledge to perform critical analyses and forge a path for future development...
But I mean, if you want to wear red, black, and green and go to a lot of time wasting forums that don't actually use Black history to help shape Black futures in a way that will translate into educational and more importantly, financial empowerment, then you go right ahead. I have had my fill for a lifetime.
I study what I want to learn about year 'round. I think that Black History Month is for the ignorant. That SHOULD be the non-Black masses, NOT US. My mentor says that Black History Month, just like all other nationally recognized holidays, is for capitalists to make money and for consumers to waste time and spend money.
Are you wasting time and bucks?