Fucking Black History Month.
I hate that shit. Hate it.
First of all, I don’t want any boobie consolation facts about who invented listerine strips, the stoplight, air conditioning, or ice cream.
TELL ME ABOUT THE AMOUNT OF COWRIE SHELLS MY BODY WAS WORTH IN THE TRADE.
Tell me about how I very well may have literally be BRANDED into Christianity the moment they would’ve started to wash my African history from my mind and called me a slave.
Tell me about how and why minstrel shows came about.
Tell me that Catch a Tiger by the Toe used to be about a Nigger.
Tell me how many of us were taken from west Africa.
Tell me about Jim Crow (in depth) and Black Codes, income inequality that still exists today that keeps just just as Jim Crow-ed now as we were then.
Tell me even about how our music was stolen, how were started Rock music, how we gets no credit for that.
Stop glossing over our history with these tired as 1-fact-a-day ass school announcements.
And THEN tell my ass why we don’t just teach our actual history in the public school curriculum EVERY DAMN DAY like we’re not sitting next you your white asses learning about you in ever medium possible EVERY DAMN DAY.
I’m always surprised at what a good job my school district did at teaching at least some of this (and outside of black history month). We learned about racist undertones and history of literature in English classes, the history and origin of music genres in music class, Jim Crow and post-reconstruction codes. My school district was predominantly white and Asian too, so I don’t see why there can’t be a more streamlined way to get this to happen. It infuriates me when I meet people at school (and even my own boyfriend) who know nothing about black history. And the fact that most people had to go out of their fucking way to learn basic history. It’s also not hard to integrate black history into history as a whole. It’s a pretty big part of history that should pop up a lot in a normal history class if the curriculum wasn’t designed by or taught by racists.
Tell me about how Black women dealt with systematic rape and cocercion. I did not learn that until COLLEGE. Like in public school we’d talk about how the children were sold and families were split up…but we never once looked at the racial dynamics of rape and mixing. We never talked about how Black women would often abort or kill their own children to save them. Things like that.
Black History Month can be a pain sometimes.
It’s already exhausting discussing this any other time of the year, but white people really love to make a special habit of out downplaying us the time when we’re supposed to be highlighted.
For my own sanity, let me just run down a quick list of a couple reasons that BHM is invalid, according to white people .. and why their reasons are bullshit:
- “Black History Month only separates Black People more and creates tension among races.”
I don’t know what parallel universe you’re living in, but the reality is that Black People are separated. We’ve always been. The contributions to science, agriculture, music, theatre of Black People are never discussed. The media, magazines, TV shows, fashion runways, billboards hardly showcase people that look like us, or if they do look like us, they’re a blonde-haired, blue-eyed and/or biracial version. If you’re going to talk about the separation of Black People, please don’t hesitate to mention white supremacy. BHM is necessary. If there is any white person out there who doesn’t respect that BHM was created mainly for the purpose of leveling the white-wash of our classes and textbooks, then guess what? The racism was always alive and kicking, it just needed enough blackness in its face to expose its ugliness.
- “There’s No White History Month.”
This one genuinely makes me LOL. Have any of you white people actually researched the different variations of cultural celebration months there are? There’s Italian, Irish, Greek, Polish, German, etc. history months. What happened was probably you all ran out of things to talk about during the other months that have been afforded to you. Lest not forget that the default is white. The standard is white. If anything is entitled “History” or “Anthropology”, it’s usually Western History and will be slathered, dipped and covered in whiteness. In actuality, we should be asking why there’s just a Black History Month, instead of different variations like Nigerian, Ethiopian, West Indies, etc. History month, but since Whiteness is considered so vast and great, it needs to be sectioned off into braches.
- “Black People shouldn’t be proud of their race; it’s something they were born into.”
We have no choice. If we don’t tell ourselves how amazing and worthy we are, we will collapse. We live in a world where we are not cherished or valued. There are many media outlets which make a routine out of shitting on us. Even Black elite are degraded (Rihanna is called a Niggabitch by a popular Dutch magazine and Beyonce is accused of “rationing her vagina for diamonds”). Besides, you don’t think people in the media are proud of their whiteness, or hold it in a higher regard? If Banana Republic hires 20 White models (and maybe Naomi Campbell if they feel generous), that’s not a direct statement of the pedestal they place their race upon? The only difference is we have to be out and open about our Blackness as a defense mechanism, because it’s always on the attack.