Black history month. More than a 28-day list of factoids

Regarding black history month, there is a difference between history and a 28-day checklist of factoids.

I’m old enough to remember when black history month was negro history week, then negro history month, then black history month.

Personally while I respect my elders, I don’t celebrate black history month. I stopped seeing the need years ago. It has been easy for me to do so because when I converse with people of different races and cultures, I easily incorporate perspectives from African diaspora culture whenever I deem it appropriate, which is all the time, not just during a lousy 28-day period.

The biggest problem with black history month is defining “black”. Let’s face it. The actual month is black American history month. Black is a term that Americans of African descent claim as their own. I’ve had black Americans tell me I’m not black. So, as a man of Ashanti-Irish-Carib descent, where do I fit in?

On black history month, were it not for the annual checklist, Tom Joyner wouldn’t have much to do.

Let me breakdown  the important nuggets of black history.  In the beginning, blacks in America were treated as capital, and although released from their chattel status after the Civil War, they still had very very little property rights, either in themselves or real property.

Civil rights laws passed in the 1960s (not human rights laws) said that blacks had a property right in themselves to take their human capital across state lines via common carriers i.e. buses, hotels, restaurants, etc., but instead of maximizing and leveraging these property rights into real wealth, blacks settled for political rights, political positions, and social welfare entitlements.

Today the issue is, how do we turn fake wealth (entitlements) into real capital and wealth for truly poor blacks, and how long will bourgeois blacks keep fooling the world into believing that they are still poor, down trodden, and in need of affirmative action while attending civil rights rallies driving BMWs and Mercedes Benzes.

The historical irony continues ….

About Alton Drew

Alton Drew brings a straight forward and insightful brand of political market intelligence. Alton Drew graduated from the Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science in economics and political science (1984); a Master of Public Administration (1993); and a Juris Doctor (1999). You can also follow Alton Drew on Twitter @altondrew.
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3 Responses to Black history month. More than a 28-day list of factoids

  1. Pingback: Why Vermont celebrates Black History Month with pride. | Two Different Girls

  2. Kenneth Ciszewski says:

    “Civil rights laws passed in the 1960s (not human rights laws) said that blacks had a property right in themselves to take their human capital across state lines via common carriers i.e. buses, hotels, restaurants, etc., but instead of maximizing and leveraging these property rights into real wealth, blacks settled for political rights, political positions, and social welfare entitlements.

    Today the issue is, how do we turn fake wealth (entitlements) into real capital and wealth for truly poor blacks…”

    The problem as I see it is that many blacks don’t understand what to do with their “human capital”. I don’t think many whites do either. (Many Asians and Indians, that is, people from the country of India, seem to have this understanding.) We have not taught people in our society how capitalism really works at the “street level”, how each of us needs to take charge of our own destiny and find services we can perform that we can sell to others and/or goods we can produce that we can sell to others. I had a lot of schooling, and as far as it went, it was good schooling, but it never taught me how the economy and business really works as I have just described. In that sense, my education failed me, and it has failed many others in a similar fashion.

    Now, from being around various businessmen/entrepreneurs and working in various businesses and industries, it has become clear to me that some people figure this out, and some people just seem to know this—perhaps they learn it from their families because their families know it innately and practice it every day. It’s clear to me, however, that not everyone understand this.

    I think we take it for granted that everyone knows how our economy works, and what is required to be successful economically, that each of us needs to find a job or a profession or a career, that we need to save and invest some of our earnings. It’s obviously not true across the broad spectrum of our population.

    Now, in the last couple of years, as part of my job, I had the occasion to drive through parts of the City of St. Louis, Missouri that are primarily occupied by African Americans. Some of these areas are blighted, some are slums, but many areas are still in reasonably good shape. The one thing I noticed is that there are a fair number of boarded-up businesses in this particular area. There are some active businesses, but the quantity and variety are not the same as I find in the nearby suburbs. It would seem that this presents an opportunity for residents to find ways to start businesses, perhaps cooperative businesses, to do a better job filling the economic needs of the residents. Sadly, I don’t see this happening. Obviously, there would need to be a way to find money to capitalize these businesses, and people to start and manage them.

  3. Pingback: BLACK HISTORY MONTH | coyfeetalksitup

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