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Black History Month?

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By Willis Johnson

We are a week into black history month and to me, it just doesn’t carry the weight it use to.

There are various ways to look at that.

One is to say that we have become a part of the fiber of America and a separate history acknowledgement is no longer necessary. We can look at the strides that have been made since the slaves got off the ship in this country. There is a black man in the White House (with a black wife), we’ve got black mayors that have led major cities in America since the late ’60s, a sprinkle of U.S. Senators and plenty of blacks have been in congress. Housing changes have occurred and blacks live a lot of places that were off limits less than two generations ago. Black men and women are pilots of planes on major airlines, our kids go to school everywhere now and don’t openly face what occurred in Little Rock in 1957 and interracial dating and marriage is so common that Emmett Teel is just a blur of a memory. You can eat at any eatery that you prefer, as long as you can afford it and live in any neighborhood that you can afford.

But then, there is Trayvon Martin, a stuck congress on dealing with that black man in the White House, minority (black) businesses still struggling with acceptance in mainstream America, the drop out rate for black boys is at an all time high and we are not really addressing education as a priority. Banks are still slow to loan money to black for business opportunities and some say it’s still that feeling of being watched while in the mall, because of the color of your skin. So as I think about black history in the month of February, my feelings are mixed.

I recently saw a story where the King Kids are fighting over articles from their dad’s past and it appears to be such turmoil in the family of a man who won the Nobel Peace Prize. Is that indicative of where we are as culture today…fighting among ourselves?

Will our kids and grandkids know who , Nat Turner is or  Medgar Evers, Dorothy Height, Ralph Bunche, Roy Wilkins, Stokely Carmichael, H. Rap Brown, Roy Ennis, A. Maceo Smith and many others whose names are not called in the class rooms of our public or private schools.

Just where is Black History Month?

  • RonaldP

    It is so odd to me that we(Black people) are confused about celebrating our culture. I live in San Antonio, and each year there is a month long Rodeo celebration, and a three week Fiesta with multiple events; all celebrating each group’s ethnic heritage and culture. Wake Up!! Billions are made annually from diverse cultural events and celebrations, and we question whether it holds value because it’s ours, insanity!! Blending doesn’t mean that we should silence our voices and therefore the culture that makes us unique in the world. Validate and celebrate Black History Month, by making it relevant to our kids, and the the country as a whole, and remember; countless millions laid down their lives for us to have the opportunities we so casually enjoy today! Let’s honor our ancestors, and empower the next generation for God’s sake!

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