As we close out the month of January and enter into the traditional “blackness” of February, there is one thing that remains prevalent on my mind…
“Why do we continue to celebrate black history in the shortest month of the year?”
This question still boggles my mind in ways that are aching to my brain. For decades, we have continuously treated black history as a separate sect of our nation’s history, when in fact, most scholars would agree that black history and american history are one in the same.
This is no secret.
From the moment that African slaves were sold and captured and forced to this land by ships, we have been treated as a commodity, and since then, have contributed much to the foundation and construction of this country. From plucking the plantation fields of cotton, sugar cane, and other agricultural crops, to the actual construction of roads and railroads, to the battlefields fought both overseas and on our shores, black people have been a major contributing factor to the wealth, foundation, and well-being of our country.
With that being said, our history — which extends way beyond the moment we arrived on these shores — could never truly be understood and appreciated in a month, let alone the shortest month of the year. We can no longer treat black history as if it is a rerun of an old television show that we like to reminisce on from time to time. Every day is a new episode of black history! Every day is and should be a reminder of our existence and how that existence has shaped our country into what it is today.
What I am encouraging and advocating today is for black people to no longer participate in the celebration of this month, but to participate in the celebration of black history every day. We must eat, breathe, and sleep our history! We must teach ourselves our history as often as we learn about history in our schools, but even more since our history is being polluted and diluted by those who continuously chose to ignore our existence.
Though this may be out of our norm, we must be willing to make strides for change. Let us reclaim our history by becoming our own authors. May we no longer accept what it is given to us, but may we now understand that our history is OURS for the taking.
With Much Love & No Bull,