While on the quick road trip today, a commercial on Sirius XM's CNBC station advertised Black History Month. I was excited to hear this, but quickly became disgruntled when it was stated "Black History is American History". I imagine you're thinking why reactions arose. I immediately thought "Black History is American History, but is designated one month (the shortest month at that) according to society while American History is taught daily?" A month is given to celebrate our accomplishments and history when we invented many resources that are used by many people on a daily basis. I was perplexed and felt that this advertisement was a favor. Advertisements and acknowledgements of Black History during a commercialized month creates a safety net and provides permission for mainstream media and our counterparts to acknowledge us. I think we have become conditioned to accept or allow people, including our own at times, to engage in the bare minimum to respect us, perpetuating a parallel process. Sorry not sorry, the expression of who we are requires more than one month as our history is rich and takes time. Most times when our history is integrated as a part of our "American history", it is misrepresented, does not illustrate accurate information, or only parts of the stories are told.
I encourage people to not get boxed into this month. Engage in conversations in your households, visit sites of our history, educate ourselves, etc. Most importantly, I encourage us to read. Remember you cannot believe everything that is fed to you. Read, read, and read some more because hidden knowledge is in books. As a race we were intentionally not taught to read because truth and knowledge would be discovered, creating advancement of our race. Let's not perpetuate that cycle in our actions or lack thereof today.
As I write this I want to be clear. This isn't a post for pity parties or reparations, but instead to raise awareness and a demand for respect, not permission. Ms. Tina Knowles words illustrate the purpose of this post during the song titled, Interlude: Tina Taught Me on Solange's Seat At the Table album. "When we're not allowed to express that pride in being Black and if you do it's considered Anti-White. No you're just Pro-Black and that's okay, the two don't go together.