Black History Month is upon us, yet again. Or, as I like to call it, “28 days of [Bl]ac[k]tivity”. I’ll spare you all the jokes about February being the shortest month & that’s why they gave it to us, because honestly, Cinco De Mayo is only 24 hours long. & I can’t recall ever having an “Asian History Appreciation Day” back in school. But they sure have about 10 gay pride parades every year though. No shots, just saying. Hell, even Halloween, a “holiday” based around death, disguises & junk food gets more press than “Black History Month”. Although, if I saw a porch with an Al Sharpton head on it, I’d be offeneded, for a few reasons. But I digress. This is “our” time to be celebrated, our triumphs rejoiced & for at least a month, little colored boys recite something other than rap lyrics.
As a kid, I always looked forward to this time of year. In elementary school, I played Benjamin Banneker, & of course Dr. King in Black History plays, respectively. To keep the tradition blazing, my son has portrayed Dr. King every year since preschool. Twice last year. He’s even told me that I’m being a little racist when I crack certain jokes, to which I respond, “If Black people couldn’t laugh at themselves, we would’ve committed mass suicide 400 years ago.” The irony is that we’re committing mass homicide right now, but that’s a post for another day.
Or, maybe not…
Niggas need to step their game up, really though. Think back, to the day after Barack Obama was sworn into office. I’m not the type for euphoric moments, but you can’t tell me that Blacks didn’t have smiles on their faces that day. Even the young, disenfranchised ones were polite, respectful even. I would even go as far as to say niggas pulled their pants up out of respect, but that was probably just my imagination. & just to let you know, I voted for Obama, & still believe in him. For all the political rhetoric & bullshit legislative propaganda forced in our faces, it’s almost like we forgot that Obama’s election was bigger than the White House. Not to get all corny, but it was/still is a victory for Black people, even if he isn’t a “typical” Black man.. The unity that filled the air that day, in metropoli nationwide, was strong enough to make us forget, if only for that day, where we were & look ahead to what (else) may be. Shit felt great, too. But this isn’t about the POTUS. One monkey don’t stop no show, per se.
I’m gonna go out on a limb, & suggest that, instead of calling February “Black History Month”, that we refer to it as “African American Recognition Fest”, or something to that effect. The past, present & future of a people. Where we’re headed is as important as where we are, & we’ve been. Possibly more so, given the circumstances; our families are disorganized, our priorities are virtually non-existent, & our reparations were given to the fat cats on Wall Street to bail them out. Meanwhile, rappers raise our kids, & athletes sell them crack pipe dreams. Fuck all that. Without power to fight, there is no “fight the power!”, if you smell my cologne. & not that I believe in segregation, I got love for all kinds of critters (what up LC?!), but we can’t look in unfamiliar territory to solve domestic problems. Foreign policies can’t, & wont govern my homeland security. My main hope is that this multigenerational wave of grandparents raising their grandkids will result in some old school ethics & pride being pumped back into the mainline. Parents are getting younger though, & subsequently, so are the grandparents. There’s only a small window of time before that hope is lost, as well (joking-but serious). Real talk, I have a homeboy who’s a 36 year old grandfather. One would think that he’d find that scenario abnormal. No dice. That’s some frightening shit, on several levels.
I’m not going to bog cats down with a month-long rant about something that our mirrors, the news & episodes of ‘Cops’ tell us daily. But, if nothing else, think about what I’m saying.