Ok folks here we are in the month of February. This is the month of Valentines Day where men everywhere run into the grocery store at the last moment to purchase wilting flowers to profess their love. Couples everywhere march into restaurants offering dinners for “lovers’ to glance lovingly into eyes they see every day. It is the day of love. Forget a lifetime of love but this is the day or the month in the case of Black History.
Ahh February a time to celebrate all of the sacrifices, famous black folk, and of course the culture of African Americans. Never mind it has been over 200 years since slavery and black people are now a part or supposed to be a part of the fabric of America. Never mind that many among our society have no idea what black culture is other than what they see on a television. Often times the portrayal of black culture by the media circus is one depicting gang bangers, large women using foul language and living in the ghetto. We see young black men with the seat of their pants hanging to their knees. We see our prison population with primarily black faces peering from the cells. Every time an unspeakable crime is committed our society expects the perpetrator to be black and express surprise when he is not. We see our senate and elected officials disrespecting the leader of the free world in a way that has never been witnessed. What society fails to see is a black culture full of pride. Many do not see into the black churches and understand the spiritual strength. We fail to see the communities that are cohesive and nurturing to the young. Yes, they do exist. Instead of a month where we all proclaim our love of black culture, how about fair and equal treatment, end of racial profiling, and the ability to live in a society without bigotry? As a black woman I have assimilated into a multi cultural society and have learned how to move with ease. I understand and know the sacrifices my ancestors have made so that I can enjoy that movement of ease. If we are to ever become a concious society we all have to become a part of the fabric woven together to make one piece of cloth. As long as some of us are seen as the “other” we can never be concious. We as Black Americans must also take responsibilities and cannot continue to blame “the man” or take on a victim mentality. As long as we see ourselves as victims or downtrodden, others will treat us as such. Strengths and values of all cultures must be appreciated on an ongoing basis. Black History is a part of American history. To have a special month is akin to giving a dog a bone.