Black History Month?
As a person who’s been in school all his life Black History Month, which draws to a close today, has always been a peculiar time for me. In elementary school, it meant teachers taking time away from Social Studies class to instruct us about Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. In junior high school, it meant history teachers taking time to discuss Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. And in high school, it meant history teachers…you get the point. Harriet Tubman and Phyliss Wheatley were thrown in there somewhere, and at some point, some teacher filled us in with this “neat” bit of trivia, Carter G. Woodson started Black History Week.
Later on in life, McDonalds and other conglomerates really got in the mix and offered Black History Month Calendars, or other promotional materials bearing the face of Martin Luther King Jr. and Frederick Douglass. It eventually got to the point where by mid-January I’d see posters advertising Black History Month in stores in my neighborhood and on campus. Black History Month was the time for public television stations to introduce new documentaries, and television shows to premiere their sentimental tales about notable African American firsts or obscure sports and entertainment figures. February was also the month for my friends to joke about “why did we get the shortest month of the year?” or declare that “every month should be black history month.”
However, this year, I could honestly say I did not have a black history month. For the first time since I lived in
This was not intentional at all and I actually attended other gatherings focusing on the contributions made by Blacks to history, but which for reasons that I do not know the intricacies of, were not promoted as Black history programs.
I haven’t figured out whether to be incensed or indifferent about this occurrence. Should I be concerned or consider it an anomaly? If the djembe drummers tap Black History month in the forest and I’m not there to hear it, is it still Black History Month?
Then again, maybe I’m the only one experiencing this absence.