So it’s March 2. Do you remember what was important about last month? The Super Bowl? Umm, yeah, that’s one thing. NBA All-Star Weekend? I mean, outside of seeing Justin Beiber get REJECTED (word to NBA Jam) and Blake Griffin leaping over a car, wasn’t that impressive… but I suppose that’s another thing. Can you think of anything else? President’s Day! The second President’s Day with a Black man in office, so I took off from work to celebrate! Let me guess, your Lambo’s blue, too, huh? But fine, that too. Anything else?? Oh, yeah, Valentine’s Day was last month! I got my boo some flowers and candy and we went to go eat at Chick-Fil-A… I applaud that, too. But umm… none of these are what I’m looking for.
I mean… maybe it’s just me, but save for McDonald’s few usual annual Black
consumer encouragement via stereotype empowering commercials, was Black History Month just overlooked? I’ve never been one to subscribe to the belief that those who identify as Black (and even those who don’t) should ONLY celebrate Black achievements and accomplishments in the shortest month of the year, but I mean, no acknowledgment in 2011 whatsoever, though?
Honestly, back when I was just a kid at good old Briargate Elementary School, I did very much look forward to the month of February. We always put together a “Black History Program.” I was fortunate enough to have (female) Black teachers who made an effort to introduce us to something new about Black history or famous Black people every week of February. But after February 28 or 29… it was back to business as usual. When I was younger, that was okay. Now that I’m older, it just bothers me. Once February ends, the pursuit of knowledge related to Black achievement and undertakings seems to end with it.
What did YOU do for Black History Month? Did you abstain from watching BET? Did you watch an episode of The Boondocks for old times’ sake? Did you indulge Comedy Central in their running replays of Katt Williams’ “The Pimp Chronicles,” Eddie Murphy’s RAW, and Richard Pryor’s “Live on the Sunset Strip”? Did you buy something from your local Black-owned restaurant or bookstore? Did you tip your barber? Did you happen to catch Furious Styles’ ridiculously good Thurgood Marshall impression? I say a lot of these things jokingly, but I’m really just wanting to call your attention to the fact that Black History Month apparently exists, but isn’t really celebrated.
What happens AFTER February 28th? The Black History facts and “firsts” we loaded our facebook statuses with come down. The “tribute” pictures we put up of Black icons and visionaries are replaced with our own pictures. I’m fortunate enough to be a part of this blog, to be able to serve with people who daily live Black History and contribute to it by being college graduates and professionals pursuing greater in their lives (either in higher education or in their current stepping-stone job).
As someone quite proud of my heritage, I feel it’s imperative that I effectively honor and “represent” for Black achievement, not just 2/1 through 2/28, but 24/7/365. True, some may argue that times have changed greatly since Mr. Woodson’s creation was first birthed in 1926 and that, because of this, Black History Month isn’t needed anymore. I disagree – I think that Black History Month does serve a purpose, as it calls our attention to acknowledging that Black people are responsible for the creation of many things we use in our daily lives, that they often turned tragedy to triumph in an effort to prove they were just as worthy of greatness and belonging as their fairer-skinned peers.
For me, Black History Month didn’t end on February 28th. No, in actuality, February 28 was the last day of the first month in Black History Year. So as a means of honoring my commitment to represent for Black achievement 24/7/365 and increase my knowledge, I firmly intend to post something every week – a Black History tidbit, notable “first,” or recommended Black media pick – related to Black culture so you can “get you some (knowledge).” I hope you’ll join me in this movement and follow along with this weekly endeavor. To borrow the words of some of my fellow Threaders via Shawn Corey Carter, I’m doing this for my culture.