Posts Tagged ‘February’

Oh, what. You thought I was done, huh?

Well this is Leap Day 2016 and like many days, this is a extra bonus. I did this with the Olde to Sagittarius Poems, so I’m going to do this with the Black History Month thing. And trust me, it’s long waited to do this. So it’s time to do this on Leap Day in which many might forget about February 29th or so.


Listen up black folks: Black History Month is, was and our time to shine to start.

Without the use of our ancestors, we wouldn’t have a part to spark.

No matter we talk about the Pharaohs, Kings and Queens plus Presidents that ruled like a boss,

Never forget their triumphs and challenges that the purpose that caused.

As usual we must continue talk about the roots of Slavery, and the use of Civil Rights,

If we gonna be real about it, never ever give up those fights!

We can do, preview, summarize and examine our proud black history, with the honorable things up the latter,

For you non-black folks hating, and those side-eyeing, Our Black Lives INDEED Matter!

Continue to march on folks of color, we are done yet!

Sometimes we have to make that gamble to make the bet!

For the regular, irregular, educated, partially learned, the Conscious, the Semi-Conscious, the Brave, the REAL Activism, the REAL Evangelists,  the Introverted, Extroverted, Ambiverted, the Bold, the Beautiful, the rebel, the Handsome, the Rugged, the Strong, the Mindful, the Doers, the Energetic, the middleman, the middlewomen, the anchors, the straight, the techie, the religious, the freethinker, the gay, the tranny, the BiSexual, the mixed, the supporters, the secretive, The Singles, The Married, The Widowed, The Life Partners, the honorable, the distinguished, the grounded, the down to earth, the political, The American, The Canadian, The British, The French, The Australian Black, The Afro-Latino, The Italian, The Haitian, The Jamaican, the Jazz, the Gospel, the Hip-Hop, the Rap, The R&B, The Folk, The Rock, The Metal, The New Age, The Dance, The Vocal, The Opera, The Classical, The Old School, The New School, The Sporty, The Medical, The Dental, and many many others with the Black Fist in sight,

Strap on your seat belts no matter what you think, we taking this everyday flight.

For our Black men, women and children of our black community that has gone home to glory,

Us here on the planet, we will and must TELL your story.

So no need to ask permission, or asking for to be valid,

We should be out doing us anyway, from the time we come, and to be candid.

So as we close out the 90th Edition of Black History Month of 2016 and make way for beyond and 2017,

Never forget the lessons that were and were not peachy keen.

From the lessons, causes, joys, concerns, and missing pieces that us Black folks we need to flex,

As we continue to know about us, I ask this: there have been many many  firsts, who got next?








Can I set up my Centerpiece, now?

Black History Month is back, yet again! Love it or hate it, it is a worthy celebration.

90 years ago, during the week of February 7th, 1926, Dr. Carter G. Woodson started something that was very real talk about the use of talking about us.  Us as in African-Americans in telling our stories, our commentary, our viewpoints, news and many others that others think that we shouldn’t. Personally, I’m glad we can talk about our stories. The idea of this is to not only tell the stories, but also review and store the conversations that we hold dear today! And pass on.

Black folks, we have come a long way. A mighty long way. And still a mighty long way to go.  For my folks, and non-black folks who had to go on these questions, we know what they are as under review:

  • “Why can’t we celebrate this everyday?”
  • “Why does it have to be about color?!”
  • “I feel that Morgan Freeman is right about not having it, why can’t we have an American History Month?”
  • “I know everything about Blacks. Why a month though?”
  • “What about White History Month?”
  • Or my personal favorite: Why can’t they teach this in the schools?”

Spoiler Alert: you will hear this again. And as embarrassing and annoying as is.

These questions like this to me kind of lacks laziness. It really does. And it’s being asked EVERY FREAKING YEAR! Folks, especially black folks, we ALREADY know the answers! Many of us WILL NOT celebrate our Black Historical stuff everyday. And yes, partially it is about color because of the misconceptions about black men and women when it comes to being loud, looking like thugs per say, don’t want no N*ggers working at the same company where many of the workers got their jobs though nepotisms. We know what Morgan Freeman said, but he had to realize that without the contributions he was brought up on, HE wouldn’t have the accolades he has now. And again, if AMERICA wants a so-called “American History Month” of any kind, then guess what: America has to EARN IT like the Declaration of Independence and many others. And it has to EARN IT the right way. Not the dictatorship way like evil empires. And not like the rant of Stacey Dash.

We say we know everything. WRONG! We don’t know enough half way.

One thing about Black History Month or Black History in general, it never ends. Everyday it’s always stories that are uncovered, and uncommented about Blacks that are still out there. How many black stories that are going to be uncovered for Black History Month in 2017? And to those who are still stuck on mush, can I be straight with you readers here again?

  • Black History Month is not racist.
  • It’s is NOT separating the uses of humanity.
  • It is not hate.
  • It is not self-hate.
  • It is not degrading of others.
  • And it’s not degrading anything.

Neither this so-called propaganda stuff. Get that out of the gutter. So for those who say its separating the human race, I call B.S. on that. I do. Without black folks leading the stampede, there wouldn’t be a Human Race of anything period! Let’s get the language right. No matter if you’re Generation X or Millennials. We all need to get the language right, period!

Plus, I need to say this: White folks, you have a month. Period. You have more months than the Hispanics, Asians, Samoans/Polyneisans, Islanders, and even us Black folks combined. So I want to know is, what is the haps? Don’t act like it’s not very questionable! Never try to ask that question that you already know. Just like all those channels from NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, ESPN, and even those channels that have that exotic soft-core stuff. Um, HELLO!! STOP TRIPPING!

And as far as #BlackFutureMonth: I gotta say this. I know what that is. It’s about the upcoming players in the Black Community making waves, in which I kind of respect that in a truthful viewpoint. BUT, without the use of the past to learn from, there wouldn’t be a future of anything. Just a side note to you Internet Revolutionary Conscious folks.

CALLOUT: I can be conscious too. But just saying in a Introverted, Black Male type of fashion!

So yes, Black Future is upcoming, but it’s not truly historic, yet. It needs guidance. We need to understand that. We know that the use of #BlackLivesMatter is in full force. That is the current state of Black America right now in the era of President Obama. And yes dwellers, we know that there are those who are going to copy off the movement as a mockery. As in #AllLivesMatter. But don’t forget what I said last year about if all lives really matter.

Speaking of the schools: We all know that many of our public or private or charter school districts will only highlight MLK, I Have A Dream, Malcolm X, Rosa Parks and Harriett Tubman. REALLY?! Is that it? When I was coming up, We learned about them and Garrett Morgan, Lonnie Johnson, Guion Buford, Ronald McNair, and many others. Come on, y’all! I’m not putting the educators to shame on this. I’m putting the mindset of what is being summarized in the curriculum in shame. And of the record, I was raised by educators in the house and church! When I got to college, and along growing up,  I got the real eye opener of Black History Month that was NOT mentioned in the schools!

Since the Rise of the Introverts have began years ago, I often wondered who were and are the black introverts that contributed in black historical events? Well guess what Spotters, I will be doing this in Black History Month. I will be highlighting those who were or are introverted in which have made contributions and achievements. And the thing is, we know the names and recognized their crafts. But the thing is, we didn’t know that they were or are introverts. So this will be new. And it’s the kind of those introverts that probably got their movements supported through someone else. From marching, to activism, to sports championships, and even political angles of greatness. Even those who are the unsung. Those who haven’t have a high title, but still made a component of success in Black History.

So I ask again, can I set up my Centerpiece, now?

Let it commence.

Start the drums. Start the dancing. Start the testimonies.

Black History Month is back. And in 2014, I’m talking about a subject “The Centerpiece”.

What is a centerpiece?  We see them all the time around Christmas, Thanksgiving, the 4th of July, and many other major holidays on the Calendar. In this, I’m “breaking american” yet again of this: Black History Month needs to have a “Centerpiece” in every home of African-Americans, and African related families in the world. The centerpiece is not just setting the table and preparing for dinner. But it’s also taking in the occasion in which is to come. Henceforth, the month of celebrating Black History should be an option.

Ok. Here we go. Why this month of February? Why can’t we celebrate this Black History thing everyday like the other ethnic folks? Don’t get me started. Many of us either black and non black had to go to Facebook, or any other form of social media, the Grio and comment either the positive and negative of the celebration. Don’t forget, Black History Month is not just recognizing our achievements of the past and the present. But it’s a way to celebrate us (as in Black people, as in African decent) of yes we can do things. It is a solemn reminder of when we came, and what we should be meant to hypothesize.

February was chosen due to the influence of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. Both of their birthdays are in the same week in which are February 12-14. And it was the brainchild and influence of Dr. Carter G. Woodson in which that we need to reflect on our history at African decent folks. I was listening to WNOV today. Yes The Forum with Sherwin Hughes. He had on a guest of the name Oshi Adelabu who really dropped serious knowledge on why Black History Month is around. He also dropped real serious topics about us black folks don’t really know our history as much as the other ethnics. If anyone in America, or in Milwaukee had a chance to listen to him, you probably got lectured on a different level. And he did address the concerns of those who are our children who don’t care about the history. And the reason being, partially many of the adults don’t really go into the deep reason of the hidden stories of lynchings, hangings, inside discrimination, the first Egyptians being black (in which they were) or telling blacks not to go into the doors that whites used to go. I think our generation (the lower half of Gen X, Y, Millennials) were and are shielded from the extreme part of it and many of us don’t care. It’s sad to say but it is. Want a prime example: go to the Instagram and look at those bogus pics like, “Pookie and them were the first blacks to get turnt up in the club drinking Hennessy.” You mean to tell me that we would poke fun at those who have blazed trails, set new foundations, and declare holy hell on those who feel that this occasion that was started in 1926 is a joke of a failure? No its not a joke of failure because those who made the joke or the bad assumptions felt cheated because we haven’t learned the deep gist of the occasions. Of what it supposed to be. Yet, many years ago, I didn’t understood a lick of why black history month exists. But as I grew older and to appreciate the value of our summarizing our ancestors, and what is going on now, it has become to me a staple. More like a centerpiece celebration. I mean “every occasion” has a centerpiece.

Now many are those feeling differently, that we should look at our historical figures and events everyday. I agree.

Now many (here it comes)often comment that we need to teach our children more. I AGREE.

BUT: For those of us who are actually saying this, (and are black) when was the last time you took time out of your schedules from the mall, your social media folks, your “militant” viewpoints per say, your religion, your active community work, your talk about legalizing mary jane, your activism (even though most of that started in the church), your shopping as a tax time baller, your music on your playlist, your other needs and concerns of buying Air Jordans, your favorite editorial in the paper or magazine, your blog postings in which you got so many likes because of fashion, your job, your friends of your homies or female gatherings, technological, or any other ideal to talk about Black History! I see “some” are talking. But not many are doing! You may say it on Instagram or Facebook in a expressive manner, or on a soap box, but are you “actually doing” the J.O.B. in the extent of what was learned back in your day in the classroom or in the Family? If so, When? Since last week? Or what about last year? What about 6 months ago? Or 6 weeks ago? Or what, just now?!!!!!

And on a further question: who says that you have to learn all of the cultrual events of black history in 28, sometimes 29 days in February? 

One of the NPHC Fraternities, Iota Phi Theta has a quote that they say among their brotherhood, “It only takes a few weeks to pledge, but it takes a Lifetime to be a Brother”. I would like to paraphrase, with respect to them and with Black History Month, It only takes a few weeks to celebrate Black History Month, but it takes a lifetime everyday to learn Black History Month. Notice the difference? The keywords are celebrate, lifetime and everyday.

I was looking at the Global Grind website. And it featured Eunique Jones, you know the woman behind the “Because of them we can” campaign? She commented that Black History Month should empower us black folks to get active. In our communities, businesses, and many other black owned featured establishments. This is one of things we need to grasp. On the real, some of us in these categories do give mad respect of those who paved the way and blazing trails now – This is a constant reminder. That would be like, oh we hearing and seeing President Obama everyday. Yes that is a fact. However: never EVER overstep the fact of what got him there in the first place. Without that kind of leaves a lack of knowledge.

Some say that Black History is American History. – To an extent. But yet again, I have to “Break American” to say that Black History is not just American History my non black folks. It’s also really part of WORLD HISTORY. Think about it! Many contributions that most folks were and are dedicated to, were black. And that is the part of Black History, that NO ONE should not pass up, no skip. No matter what was shown, and what was shielded. We all deserve to know. It doesn’t matter what year it was. Or era of movement. Or any other time, place, and figures. Black History Month is not racist. It’s wasn’t made to degrade or to shoot mouths off. Yes, I do see the other ethnic months, even Women’s History Month in March. You other ethnics who have months that are not a recognizable, don’t blame Black History Month of overshadowing your ethnic/gender months! You all better stand out as if it was your best day of the week. I hate to say this, but I would assume that of that notion.

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I had to do some reflection yesterday. February 29th as we know was Leap Day, that extra day that comes every four years. Just like the Summer Olympics and the Presidential Campaign.

But as Black History Month was coming to a close for another year, and making preparations for Black Music Month for June, there are those who all through February had to ask this question of “why can’t we learn about this everyday? ” Or on Facebook recently about those posting the “on this day” stuff they should post it everyday.

My question is why are those who are whining and complaining and NOT SETTING THE EXAMPLE?!!!! 

What I’m saying is that those who keep asking the the same old questions are most likely hating or just wishful thinking. I’m not knocking everyone. Like me, I have my point of view like everyone else. But in retrospect, where is the someone who can set the tone and ACTUALLY show how to it’s done? The only people that I know that do this, are teachers who teach African American history, the African American Historical Societies of any kind, my church, and my family. Plus, any old-school person that is very knowledgeable or street-smart about Black History. That’s it.

But for those who don’t show it, and whine and complain, CRINGE, moan and groan will continue to troll like everyone else. I’m just saying. No matter what race you are. And yes this does include black folks! (Not all but some) So I feel that there better be a better example of a this. Am I venting? Not really. Just sick and tired of the whining of the so-called “why can’t we have black and history moments everyday”. Word to the globe: If you want to be talking Black History Month everyday, just remember to quote Scott Hall from his wrestling days: “Don’t sing it. Bring it! ” Or like The Rock – JUST BRING IT!


Dear America:

Let me begin by saying this. Happy Black History Month, 2012!

The infamous month of February is back in which this country, and others can begin to recoginze or to continue to keep in mind about the significant events, attachments, objectives, and purpose of my culture. Like most of you, or some of you I am blessed to recognize the sentimental value of the achievements. And it’s also a blessing. Now I begin to question those who somewhat hate this month, all because it’s dedicated to Black History. Just to remember that Black History itself is universal. It’s global. Not just dead centered on America. Those who whined and complained on all sides, those wanted to wish Black History Month dead are sadly mistaken. Others say that it’s full of propaganda, all made up stuff. Lot of those didn’t have the chance to read up on the idea of Black History Month, through the words of Dr. Carter G. Woodson. Now why him you ask? Well he was the one who started Black History Month in the first place!  His vision was to tell our stories. Our as in Blacks to tell our stories, comments, facts, figures and more. According to his story growing up, Dr. Woodson was hearing about the coal workers who working in the mines the south their stories.  Some were also Black Civil War Veterans. But here’s the thing: they never had their stories told. And the reason being that AMERICAN HISTORY NEVER picked it up!  So Dr. Carter Woodson during his college days decided to start talking about US! (Us Black folks) That week of February 12th was the start of Negro History Week, which later years became as we now know as Black History Month. The “Negro History Week” portion was set up by Dr. Woodson in honor of two men who had great significant  influences of African-Americans: Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.

Word to the haters: I keep hearing about all the “Black History Month thing should be part of American History” speeches. FALSE! Black History Month is part of WORLD HISTORY! For many centuries, those who have been guessing and asking who were the first of Math, Science, Architects? Black People. You heard me. Blacks. My race, my culture has done amazing things. And contrary, still making history.

From contributing to designing Washington DC, to inventing Bicycle Frames.

From Fiber Opitics to Super Soakers.

From becoming first in politics like senators to becoming President of the United States!

From famous Jazz Musicians like Duke Ellington to Rock Musicians like Living Colour.

From The Tuskegee Airmen to the Triple Nickels.

From Little Richard to Run DMC

From The Oprah Winfrey Show to Melissa Harris-Perry’s new show on MSNBC.

From Warren Moon to Michael Vick. – Including: Doug Williams, who became the first black NFL Quarterback to be a Superbowl Champion.

From Angela Davis to Erykah Badu.

From the Civil Rights Movement to the Million Man March.

From the first black Hip-Hop Record Manager of Sylvia Robinson to the Hip-Hop Mogul of Jay-Z.

From The Miseducaton of the Negro to Sister Citizen.

From the British Actors of  Delroy Lindo, and Thandie Newton to Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Idris Elba.

From fighting at the Boston Massacre of Crispus Attucks to sealing the end of the Iraq War of General Lloyd J Austin, III.

From the tennis achievements of Althea Gibson to the now dominate Williams Sisters of Venus and Serena.

From the poetry of Langston Hughes to the spit poetry of Def Jam Poetry.

From the first of sprints of Jesse Owens, to the lighting fast moves of Usain Bolt.

From the first servants, to the first black home owners.

From the championships of Joe Louis, to the championships of Evander Holyfield.

From the color barrier breaking of Jackie Robinson, to true home run king of Hank Aaron.

From the hardwood basketball stories of Nat Clifton, to rim rockers of Dwayne Wade.

From the gridiron days of Charles Follis to the now game players like Randall Cobb and Cam Newton.

From the Mason Fraternities  to the Divine 9 Black Greek Lettered Organizations.

From the first black organizations to the longetity of the black organizations.

From the Black Church founding during the American Revolution, to the Megachurches of the post 20th Century.

From the first channel of BET, to the first black video of Billie Jean on MTV. And to TVOne, OWN and Bounce TV.

From the era of Mahalia Jackson to the era of Willow Smith.

From “I Have A Dream” to “Yes We Can.”

From the first appearance of Whitney Houston to grace to the cover of Seventeen Magazine to Tyra Banks on the cover of SI’s Swimsuit Edition.

From Cissy Houston, to Dionne Warwick, to Whitney Houston to………..Bobbi Kristina Houston Brown.

From the Space Explorations of Guion Bluford, Jr and Dr. Mae Jemison to Dr. Benjamin Harris and Robert Satcher.

From the Soul Train Line of Don Cornelius to the “Dog Pound” of Arsenio Hall.

From the first of hockey appearance with Willie O’ Ree to the first Golf breakthrough of  Tiger Woods.

From the old Negro Spirituals to Kirk Frankin’s Stomp.

From the first black Oscar winner of  Hattie McDaniel to the break through of Oscar winners of Denzel Washington, MoNique, Morgan Freeman, Jennifer Holiday, Jamie Foxx, Forrest Whittaker, and Halle Berry.

From an old school comic like Bill Cosby to the funny little man of Kevin Hart.

From the original African drum to electronic drum.

From the first African American pilot of Captain Dave Harris of American Airlines, to the first all African-American Female Crew of ASA Airlines Flight 5202.

From the first black Fighter Pilots of the Tuskegee Airmen, to the now fighter pilots like Major Shawna Kimbrell.

From the Dance of the Motherland of Africa, to the Dance of the Dougie. (Yeah I said it)

From the first black motorcycle riders of Harley-Davidson to the now story telling of the IronElite.

From Martin Luther King, Sr. to Martin Luther King, III.

From Malcolm X to Attalah Shabazz.

You know I can go on and on. Always this is infinity to the fullest.  What you just saw there was achievements from the things we know, to the things we have to do.  Now to those who want an American History Month. Stop dreaming! The only way I think that I believe that America will get an “American History Month” is if America needs to earn it! You heard that right.  America has to EARN IT!  And I know that there are skeptics who whine and complain about Black History events that are posted on Facebook and Social Media, and those who say “why don’t you post that everyday”. We like to, but there is one problem: Why don’t those who say that, BE THE EXAMPLE of doing it? I’m just saying. I have been using social media for about 6 or 7 plus years now. And those like to post stupid videos on YouTube saying that Black History Month is racist, and mimicking about Morgan Freeman saying that “I don’t want a Black History Month, I want a American History Month.” Um…… first of all AGAIN, I respect Morgan Freeman as an actor and humanitarian efforts, but he needs to realize (and those like him)  that if it haven’t been for those who helped him in his career and life from the start who maybe have been African-American related or whatever, HE wouldn’t be in the position where he’s at today! And that goes for those who look down upon Black History Month, no their Black History traditions, and any other Black History reflections period. That’s right I said it! So you can say that I’ve become an supporter of Black History Month. No, I’ve been a reborn supporter of it. Have been for quite sometime.

So with that, America. Land of the free, home of the brave. Isn’t this supposed to be country that one can express? That land of opportunity thing? So that should be counted to tell about my culture’s history and achivements overall? I’m just saying! Others are saying that let the Blacks have it. Hey we’ve been having it. Since 1926. And it will NOT stop! So give it up. It’s not going anywhere. Even everyday of the week.

Black History Month is NOT JUST American History. It’s REALLY part of and still is a staple of World History. As I used to say back in the 90’s: You better recognize!


Stephen’s Spot

Read the history makers of tomorrow:

Iron EliteIron Elite
Check it out at Iron Elite

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.

Here is a retro blog from 2008. It was on the old Fox Milwaukee blog section of giving my viewpoints about having Black History Month. Let me tell you. Even though this occasion should be a year round/monthly celebration, but at times we forget and go to the mall! They say we need to teach our children more. The only way to do that if the ADULTS reteach themselves! Especially those who are African-American.  Just remember that this is NOT “African-American History Month”. It’s BLACK History Month. Not an occasion to be racist or segregated. An occasion to celebrate.

With the second month still in effect, yes it’s time for Black History Month. In one of the blogs last week, I know that some had a hard time coming to pass on why this celebration of still exists now. Some said that we shouldn’t have it, or it’s segregated, or it’s just a waste of time because we don’t teach our children more. Every ethnic celebration has a reason for it’s upstarts and Black History Month is one of them. Like it or not, it is a celebration, and since this is a faith blog, it’s can be joyous celebration for the achievements, contributions, barrier breakings, and difference makers that blacks made in the United States. Let me clarify a few:

About 2 weeks ago in church, my pastor gave a sermon in regarding this year’s election. He did mention that this is first election in years that has an African-American (as would most folks say) and a Woman going at if for the Democratic Side for the White House. Previously, he mentioned with respect about his reasons why we have a Black History Month: “If it hadn’t been for black history month, without 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’s what he said. Not me. What really urks me is that some folks think that there shouldn’t be one period, or African-Americans should not be subjected to celebrate their ethnic month in February. Which African-Americans are they talking about? You know, when I think about comments, I wonder does anyone take the time to read about “WHY” black history month was created in the first place? If some of those who protests the celebration, took the time to understand, by reading more into it, there shouldn’t be any arguing, protesting, boycotting, canceling of anything that pertains to the second month of the year. I also said, I don’t hear any arguments about Hispanic Heritage Month in September, nor Women’s History Month in March. But why is it always Black History Month? I don’t understand it. That has to be put to sleep.

Remember last year when former America’s Next Top Model Adrienne Curry wanted to “boycott” BET and Black History Month from her MySpace blog, and I reacted in a blog called “This Model Needs to Chill Out!”, and most of you telling me that I’m an American, period? Did you study slavery in school? Remember that? I hope so. I didn’t delete any of the blog comments. I know that I’m an American Citizen, duh! No need to go “Overly Patriotic” here! Ok, Just take a chill pill and calm down! I fly my American Flag, Wisconsin Flag infront of my Sister’s house every Memorial Day, 4th of July, and 9/11 just like everyone else. Even if it’s reading the Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights and at times reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. I was born in 1976, which was a bicentennial year! To quote my mother, “So hey!” The day after, Adrienne did make an apology on her blog stating yes, she meant what she said in her view, and her blog made some folks upset. Mainly Blacks! Speaking of that, if I were to sit down with her like a reporter, or in this case an educator, and ask her about her statement, I would be asking her: “Adrienne, do you know why Black History Month was started in the first place? “Who created it and why?” “Had anyone asked you about that before?” “What was the objective of the creation of Black History Month? She also confessed that she is an example of a failed public school system in her apology and she now understands. Well that’s debatable. I would probably respond to say of what my uncle told me about one of my childhood nicknames that “you can protest all you want, but it’s too late now!”

This also reminds me of an episode of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air back in 1991. I’m sure everyone watched the show during the six seasons. This was the episode when Will flunks his history test, and mentions to Aunt Vivian that if he were to study Black History, he would be interested and study hard. The episode was titled “The Ethnic Tip” from the first season. But apparently, after the lectures, Will did state that he read the Autobiography of Malcolm X three times. And Aunt Vivian asked “And that makes you a serious student studying of black history?” She also about the fact to Will that he could wear the t-shirts, put up the posters, and shout the slogans. This statement rung true to Will: “But if you know all the history behind it, you’re trivializing the entire struggle!” This I would probably say to those who are looking at Black History Month also. When we were younger, we all probably nose dived into the” romantic part” of the celebration, but probably never had the chance to review or talk about the origin. Like I said, every ethnic celebration has a beginning, just like Christmas.

But getting back to Black History Month, to answer the call, Dr. Carter G. Woodson was so passionate about black history. He was the reason why we have a “black history month” now. Even in this technological, “my” internet site surfing, digital downloading, Xbox 360 playing, Nintendo Wii challenging, Summerfest attending, Ipod downloading, Digital Television switching, 21st Century! This week alone February 11-15 was the original “Negro History Week”. It was centered around two individuals that had great significance of freedom of African Americans: Abraham Lincoln, and Frederick Douglass. That to me was the launch of the celebration. In earlier stages, when Dr. Woodson was about 20 years old, he was talking to some Veterans who fought in the Civil War, whom were black. The Veterans of the time told him that they fought in the war, but no one came to them to tell their stories – their experiences of what they went through. In other words, their stories haven’t been recorded. Ladies and Gentlemen, this was in my estimation, a generated start of the birth of black history month. Now you why we have this now? It was long overdue.

For me, Black History Month is a blessing. That’s right. A blessing! At least, I am able to learn about those who set the table before me. Or those who busted down doors for someone like me to walk through. Even if it’s to cross lines of color to integrate with fellowship among other races or creeds, or maybe helped those to become the first to organize, created, assisted, invented and many other developmental ways to for me to tap into just like any other person. Those who prepared it such as Coretta Scott King, Halle Berry, Denzel Washington, Sidney Poitier, Hattie McDaniel, Diahann Carroll, Louis Gossett Jr, Michael Jackson (yes I did say Michael because of MTV and Thriller is 25 years old!) Shirley Chisholm, Martin Luther King Jr, Nikki Giovanni, Marian Anderson, Langston Hughes, Dr. Charles Drew, Madame CJ Walker, Mary Mcleod-Bethune, Dorothy Dandridge, Josephine Baker, Ray Charles, Rosa Parks, Garrett Morgan who invented traffic signals and gas masks; Lonnie Johnson, who made the Super Soakers a household name. He got the idea by watching water spraying out forcefully on ships. I read about him in Black Enterprise Magazine back in the 1990’s about the invention. Now you know why they are “Super Soakers”.

Continuing, more individuals that paved the way like James Brown, Wilma Rudolph, Tommie Smith, John Carlos, Jackie Robinson, Malcolm X, Sojouner Truth, Tony Dungy/Lovie Smith who were the first black coaches to go head to head in a Superbowl, which Coach Dungy winning the Lombardi Trophy and becoming the first African American to win it. Even Mike Carey, who is an 18 year referee in the NFL, became the first African American Male to officiate in a Super Bowl. Just 20 years ago, Doug Williams became the first black quarterback to win a Super Bowl. Even though blacks have made history, but are continuing making history. It’s like infinity.

When my mother was talking to me about the black soldiers in WWII, she first mentioned that we had family members that served both in the Pacific and Europe. Those were my Granduncles, Ernest and Glenn McFadden. She also said that the black soldiers, who helped liberated Europe, went into the holocaust concentration camps first during the war, before the white soldiers came in. Yes they did, and guess what, that information didn’t come from a school history book! The Egyptians back then, were black. Cleopatra was black, Nefreteri, was black, and even those who ruled as Kings, Pharaohs, and Queens were black too. And there were some information about Slavery, the word “Picnic” of how that intersected with Slavery, and the Black Kings/Queens, never came from the school history books either. It’s the truth! I didn’t know. So that goes to tell you that history books, specifically school books, don’t always tell most information! Some of that, I learned out side of school. I attended one of my Family Reunions in Detroit in 1999, and one of the stops on the tour was the Charles H. Wright African-American Museum. This is the place where I mostly learned about black history by some of the descriptions I described above. And the tour guide at the time gave us some insights of Black History, that weren’t mentioned in History Books, or from teachers! Don’t believe me? Go there!

Yes, I am a product of Wisconsin Public Schools (namely MPS), as well as Wisconsin Technical Colleges and the UW-System like anyone else, but still I got the deep information of Black History through my family. Most of that information came through my late Grandfather, Robert Burton, Sr and my mother who always keeps me grounded on the subject all the time! Although this has nothing to do with Black History, but there was a time in Milwaukee that all the stores were closed on Sundays, except the Zoo and Movie Theaters. And I picked this up in a U.S. History Class at MATC. And the same about Thanksgiving, which really the Indians were the shooting victims by the Pilgrims, that started on a Sunday, after a church service. Now these are some of the things that have a significance of why there is a Black History Month or Black History in general. Hopefully this should shed some light to say, “Oh, now I know why there is Black History Month. This is what I’ve been wondering or asking about.” I wish there could be more comments like that. But I know that in today’s era, there are some and none beliefs, young black males still killing each other for stupid reasons, saying the N-Word, sagging the jeans, and etc. And just like the question I asked, “What is wrong with our people?” There was a time that Blacks took a stand against things in a positive light. I know that Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and other civil rights leaders are no longer here. They are not going to reappear again. We are dealing with a whole new monster in this young Millennium. I know that this has nothing to do with Black History Month, or Black History, but the educated process of all of this has to cycle in the mind.

So, love it or hate it, Black History Month is not going anywhere. Yeah give it up! Some of us don’t like it. Well just respect it. There was a time I didn’t understand why there is a Black History Month either, now I get it. It’s all about celebrating black excellence, achievements, recognitions, durability, accomplishments, inventions and most of all, telling and recording our stories! This is my culture which has come far by faith. Although it’s only one month, but Black History is an infinity to summarize.