Thursday, February 05, 2009
Flashback..Black History Moon
Life Every Voice and Sing (aka The Negro National Anthem) - Stuff
Black History (actually Black history and ‘culture’) Month is upon us. This time has been set aside to reflect on the achievements of ‘african-americans.’ There are many pros and cons in reference to Black History Month. I just want to go on record saying that I am NOT in favor of Black History Month for various reasons even though I do acknowledge that ‘african americans’ are a distinct ethnic group that have a common history, share various customs. Some of the reasons that I am against Black History Month:
-History is not of use to anyone if it is a story of the past instead of being a dynamic example of how to address issues in the here and now by using metaphor, symbolism, etc.
-Other disenfranchised groups don’t have months for celebration (such as Indian month) so this excludes them from recognition. It isolates original people of the diaspora and effected groups of the Maafa (tragedy of the colonization, genocide and chattel slavery of the Western Hemisphere). Some groups have months set aside for them yet they aren’t ‘celebrated’ by the mainstream. For example, my sons’s school is close to 1/3 Puerto Rican yet they didn’t celebrate that ‘month’ yet they are celebrating Black History Month.
-It perpetuates the myth that Original people are isolated from ‘true’ history.
-Having a month set aside doesn’t make people digest Black History. In Wallingford, CT they protested against having to observe MLK’s birthday.
-It’s a fcuked up month to get. You have President’s Day, Washington and Lincolns birthdays, Groundhog’s Day, Valentine’s Day and probably something else that I missed…oh yea..it’s the shortest month in the year.
-There is no over reaching curriculum for teaching Black History so from K-12 you end up learning about the same 10 people (MLK, Harriet Tubman, George Washington Carver, etc.)
Well complainer what CAN be done?
-Take back the ignorant holidays. On Columbus Day teach about the fact that he committed genocide (we don’t have a Hitler Holiday do we?). On Thanksgiving Day teach about what was REALLY done to the Indians. In this way we acknowledge the tragedies of other original peoples whom was effected during the Maafa.
-Teach at home (and those whom are qualified take it to the block)
As I have grown I realize that the experiences that I have gotten abroad may not be relevant to everyone in the hood in which I grew up in. Thus what one has to do is put it in the proper digestable form. The average guy in my hood don’t want to hear about MLK. Yet when I speak from the point of how he taught people to stand up for their selves (“I am a man”), a person who has conviction, a person who went to jail as many times as any average guy in the hood then their ears get peaked.
Black History is relevant to the NOW. EVERYONE lives in the Now. All we have to do is make the connection.