In my youth the only month I dreaded more than January (because I lived in Wisconsin and it was cold,) was February. That was because to me, Black History month was nothing more than an embarrassing ‘let’s all feel sorry for black people month.’
The month would start out with a list of accomplishments and end with a soulful rendition of “We Shall Overcome.” By the time I was a high school teacher (the only teacher who happened to be an American of African descent) I grew to loathe the month. By then, it had already morphed into ‘make whitey feel guilty month.’
Like everything else in America, over the last nine years, the month has become weaponized under Barack Obama. Celebrate it or #Blacklivesmatter will punish you for it. Okay, that’s a little bit of an exaggeration but not a big one.
Isn’t it time to do away with this relic of the past? It was started in 1926 by historian Carter G. Woodson. Back then it was Negro History week. It became Black History month in 1976. From Negro to Black in just 50 years. That’s overcoming… At least further than the NAACP!
Anyway, it is time to put this one-time-well-meaning but politicized and polarizing month of mandated black awareness, to bed. Besides we got BET, Oprah and the media. We don’t need to wait for the shortest month of the year any longer to validate our existence.