Skeptical YET AGAIN about Black History Month? Oh I got something for that…..Listen up, Listen Good!

Posted: February 2, 2012 in African American Stories and Viewpoints, Celebrations, Decision Factors, Editorial, News and politics, Organizations, Reflections
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I want to address this to all of the “skeptical readers” of thought. It’s February. And it’s Black History Month. A month set aside to recognize the achievement, ground breaking events, of African-Americans, and other Blacks of Nationality. It was founded by Dr. Carter G. Woodson who was known as the Father of Black History Month, when in inception was known as Negro History Week, during the week of Lincoln’s Birthday and the birthday of Frederick Douglass. The idea of Black History Month or Negro History Week came to the mind of young Carter Woodson during his time working in the coal mines in the South. There were workers who were Civil War Veterans, or should I say Black Civil War Veterans, that fought and served, but they haven’t had their stories told. Nor recorded. Now you probably are asking, “so what’s the point?” We live in a era that “nobody cares” about what happened back then. We want to know what’s going on now. Oh, I see that. But I too had to be reminded of why this is. Not to put anyone on blast, but I think those who keeps asking questions of “Why can’t Black History Month be more of an everyday thing than a one month thing”, is more of a being a skeptic. Just a skeptic. I’ve been on Facebook today, and some probably asked, why can’t those who post the “On This Day” stuff everyday? And the likes came flying fast. The line that Morgan Freeman used in an old interview that said “I don’t want a Black History Month. I want an American History Month”. First, with all do to respect of Morgan Freeman, I respect the brother. I respect him because of his acting career, his humanitarian efforts, and many other endeavors that was given to him. BUT, I will say that if it hadn’t been for individuals or groups that helped his life, or his career, that got him on the map, whom I’m assuming were African-American or African-American related, HE wouldn’t be in a spot where he is now. That’s real talk. That’s my opinion. Lots of those who probably went on that clip and probably agreed everything he said. Just because he’s Morgan Freeman? Don’t worry I ‘ll wait. Or Rochelle Riley, who writes for the Detroit Newspapers who once said about “not graving Black History Month no more” and having the thought of coming together. Oh really? And I don’t care if the folks had served in the Military, on the police force, firefighters, teachers, business workers, and other professions probably have gotten to be a point of reaching that skepticism.
I kept thinking about the word skeptical today alot. I went to the Rethink Church website, (which is part of the United Methodist Church) and I read an article about Stumbling in Stilettos. Yes you may laugh. The person featured a pastor, Amanda Garber of Rise United Methodist Church in Harrisonburg, Virginia; and was questioned by the writer, Natalie Bannon about the current generation (which I’m assuming is Gen-X and Gen-Y) about being skeptical in relation to scriptures, and religion. Her question was, “What’s different about my generation? Why are we so skeptical?” Pastor Garber replied with the words “This is nothing new. I think questions have been a part of the human experience from the beginning of time.” The Pastor also added that I think was considered, “real talk” : “In some facets, some of the people in the Scripture who had the most intimate, most vital relationships with God were questioning,” Amanda explained. “But it has to be done in community. What questioning does in a safe, authentic community is it enables us to say, ‘I don’t understand why my best friend has cancer or why people are dying from hunger while I have all this food.’”
So technically, what Pastor Garber is saying, whenever we hear these same skeptical questions over and over again, is old! That’s It! No matter how you splice it. It’s old. Which leads me back to Black History Month. And those in and around the African-American community or other communities asking the same old skeptical question, why it has to be like this? Are they ashamed? Was Morgan Freeman ashamed of his American History statement? Was Doug Williams ashamed when he commented about “hating this time of year, and have to teach our children more?” Open thought. I kept thinking about the episode of Fresh Prince when Uncle Phil’s parents visited him. It’s from the first season when he (uncle phil) was receiving an award for the community, but previously didn’t want to acknowledge his past of upbringings on a farm in North Carolina. Will had to remind him about Rosa Parks, when she sat in the front of the bus and also commented of not being ashamed! Am I ashamed of me being African-American, and happen to celebrate Black History Month? One word: NO!
Why should I be ashamed? Ashamed for what? Just because it’s one month on the calender year? What? I have NO REASON NONE WHATSOEVER have to be ashamed about celebrating my culture in the calendar year. No matter which month it is. I’m not selling out. Not running scared. No reason to be. I do recognize the men and women that paved the for me to walk through the doors that those busted down. Walking through the corridors when those before me couldn’t get past the first gate. Or getting that library card, or getting a job via civil rights, and many others. Malcolm X once said, “By Any Means Necessary”. You feel me? So in regards to those who feel that being ashamed, celebrating Black History Month, whining and complaining on their social platforms, newspapers, magazines, television shows, and more and either being black, white, red, brown, or whatever need to CHILL OUT! Black History Month was made for a purpose. Just like for the other ethnic months like Hispanic Heritiage Month, and even gender months like Women’s History Month.

I hear excuses about this: It’s racist. It’s not giving my endurance. A Farce! Or get this: We need to teach our children more, yada, yada, yada. You know what, to those who are skeptical, I feel kind of sorry. Really I do because, maybe they haven’t got the message enough. No memo which your grandparents, great-grandparents, older adults, who had a hand raising them! Maybe those shouldn’t have passed up the old school lessons in which COULD HAVE BEEN important! Maybe that’s it, I don’t know.

If Black History Month were to be thrown away, would we still learn about our ancestors? Would we learn about the past laurels in tent of prosperous for the future? Would we have thrown away that like we thrown away rock music, zydeco, folk, country and other type of music that is not “dancelike” to today’s standards with recognizing the hardships of creation? Would we have thrown away our art, dance, discoveries, abolitionisms, positive achievements, great expectations for us African-Americans, African-Canadians, African-British, or any other black person to appreciate or learn from? If we say yes and do it,  we might be ashamed! Yes, I went there!

I often say that be careful WHAT you throw away because it might be valuable than you think!

Well, my local pastor, who previously was a critic of Black History Month,  had something to respond from 2008, he said “If it hadn’t been for black history, in the eyes of God, blacks would still be labeled as second-class citizens, under the negative power struggle of Jim Crow, Slavery, being trapped or lost in a Country with the almost Christian-like values of religion that would hinder them based on their beliefs.” That what he said. And plus, President Obama was competing for the presidency by running up against then Sen. Hillary Clinton.

Let the congregation say: Praise the Lord and pass the Ammunition! Hate all those that want, but the fact of the matter it is, Black History Month IS NOT GOING ANYWHERE!   Black History in general is beyond American History. It’s part of World History. Simply because, the first people on the planet, were black.

Real Talk.


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