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 ….