Black History Month’s Relevancy (Or Not)

Today is February 3, and it just crossed my mind last night, as I laid my head on my pillow, that it’s black history month. I’m not sure what that says. And since it must say something, is it saying about me? the month? So this morning, I wanted to see if anyone else had forgotten about the month. To my shame, this writer hasn’t and is likely embarrassed that I have.

Raina Kelly writes on the Newsweek website:

Black history is American history, no doubt. But Black History Month is a measure of how fully or accurately our story is being told and a reminder of the work yet to be done. Thus, it works in exactly the same way as Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October or Gay and Lesbian Pride Month in June. I understand the desire of Freeman and others to do away with what seems at times like a catalog of complaints. Trust me, I’m not always thrilled to be the radical—constantly reminding people that half-full is still half-empty. But despite the burden, consider that without me, without Morgan Freeman, without all of us, “absent, too, would be the need for that tragic knowledge which we try ceaselessly to evade …

Read the rest of the article here.

And then there’s this guy, Innocent Madawo, who’s probably ashamed that I’m not forward thinking enough, in his estimation, to have thought about it at all.

He writes:

“One big problem is that we have our identity constructed by other people. For instance, a murder in downtown Toronto is told differently than a murder in a black community,” said Dr. Tieku, alluding to racial profiling.

Still, does this justify a month of reflection? After all, don’t we, as part of society, stereotype the identity of Muslims or people of Arab origins as prone to terrorism; or that people from the Indian subcontinent engage in the cruel practice of honour killing?

The rest of that is here.

What do you think? Is Black History Month still relevant?

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~ by MsInklination on February 3, 2010.

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