A Disdain for Black History Month?
I was talking to my mother on the phone yesterday. She lives in New England and she was recalling all of the times that she’s had to shovel her way out of the house to get to work this year. While I listened, I made sure not to gloat over the fact that it has been Spring time here in Atlanta since November. My mom told me that she was essentially blown at the fact that the ground hog predicted 6 more weeks of Winter. I told her that, at least, it was Black History Month. To which she responded
“Black History Month? They’re still doing that ridiculousness?”
Mind you, my mom was on her cell phone in the middle of an organic grocery store full of white people. I was like, “Mom! Why are you throwing shade at Black History Month?”. Then she told me,
“They think that they can give me a month? A measly month!? Ha! For all that they’ve done to us, Black History Month should be EVERY month. They’re like, ‘Here, we’ll take your people, enslave them, rape them, steal their culture and oppress them, and you can have February”
Whole Foods just got real. I understood where my mom was coming from. I owe everything to her sacrifices and her ability to navigate the obstacles put in place by the majority. From living through the residual affects of European imperialism while growing up in West Africa, to coming to America and facing blatant racism and oppression from the majority at every turn.
My mom has experienced racism in a multitude of ways. Shit, she’s taken entire businesses to court because they slipped and did something racist to her or her children. She don’t play. To her, giving Black people the shortest and coldest month of the year is a slap in the face to her and her people’s struggles. Honestly, from my mom’s perspective, there aren’t enough months in the year to rectify the atrocities of racist white folk of the past and present. I can rock with that, but I still like Black History Month. It’s the only time that the homey George Wahington Carver gets the shine he deserves.
But here at 40 Acres and a Cubicle, it’s Black Excellence Month, and excellence is always something to celebrate. We’ve been through the MOSTEST as a people, if you want proof, just go to our homepage and click on some shit. A part of what makes us so excellent is the fact that we’re unstoppable.
First we were living high on the hog. Africa was flexing on European countries with resources, life expectancy, land, education, and epic civilizations. I’m talking about diamonds, gold, healthy soil, water, Maybachs and unlimited crab meats.
Then White folks got mad and started a rampage through every foreign land with active melanocytes and spices. Entire civilizations of color were wiped off of the planet because of relentless and insatiable greed. All the while, Black people were stigmatized as carnal savages unfit to be considered fully human. But we didn’t fade away into the distant memories of some old anthropologist. Instead, we grew stronger through time and began the process of restrengthening our people. We began to eat away at the immoral fiber that held this country together and started a process of aggressive enlightenment. The adverse impacts of European imperialism and racism was seemingly insurmountable, but then it got hit with The Emancipation Proclamation, The 13th, 14th & 15th Amendments, The Civil Rights Act of 1964, The Voting Rights Act and Obama.
The moves that we’ve made in spite of all of the oppression and exploitation that we’ve suffered is wild. Open up your anthropology, social studies or history textbooks and look up some civilizations. How often do you see an enslaved minority remain a minority while moving up at such a rate? Rarely, if not never.
Black people are excellent because we, as a whole, are strong, perseverant and unyielding to the mission of bigotted haters. My mom came to the United States and faced racism at school, work, the street, on the bus, on the tennis court, in court, at Whole Foods, the loan office, freakin everywhere. She gave a lot of time, energy and love into making me into the man I am today and she taught me how to maneuver through these labyrinths of bigotry. I owe my mother everything, just like we owe everything to those who’ve paved the way for us to live as free people today. Our history is part of why we’re excellent and our future is brighter than ever. I’m celebrating it all. In fact, I’m going on a ski trip tomorrow to celebrate Black Excellence Month. If anything racial goes down, you guys know I’ll let you know. Oh yeah, the ski resort is built on the site of a Union victory battle during the Civil War so, we flexin during BEM.