ink for thought: behold what complacence has wrought

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

behold what complacence has wrought

I've been away for a while. A whole month in fact. and not without good reason. I've been busy with the everyday stuff. hands full with the stuff that keeps the sun in it's place and the earth spinning on it's axis. the stuff that living is made of.

but something has all the while been brewing under the flimsy cover of my busy ness. my hand has been itching and I've had to bite my tongue. but now that october is over I finally feel like I can come out with it boldly and say,

      "Black History Month, what a complete waste of time"

I'm not even going to try to apologise for that sentiment so don't ask as blatant, overt and blunt refusal is likely to cause further offense.

to the original designers and implementers of this 'celebration', with their lofty goals and hopeful ambitions, I say thank you and to those who, through their yearly observance help keep it alive, I offer my profound gratitude. you have both groups, brokered, on behalf of black people throughout the western world, a compromise that will forever segregate us from the mainstream of education, the mainstream of history and the mainstream of the future.

tell me this, mr. onemonthayear black man, from whence did you come? and where are you going? and who are you for the other three hundred and thirty three days of the year? and you ms. blackforthirtyonedays, what is your language? where is your country and who are your people?

no. black history month is more than a farce, it is a travesty. it is a slick used car salesman specialising in sleight of hand, dazzling us with its trivialisation of the very history it claims to promote while it simultaneously sells our future on the cheap.

when we have literature lessons all year long that never mention achebe, du bois or even dumas, how dare we claim to acknowledge black history? as long as we have mathematics sessions innumerable and no one hears of benjamin banneker, science semesters that pay no tribute to george washington carver and budding politicians who are unaware of the efforts of booker t. washington how dare we speak of celebrating black history? how dare we?

black history month is a fools gold. it is the festering, putrid, vile scab of complacency that has grown over the nasty, hideous truth. this uncomfortable truth simply put is that black people are not yet seen as equal. in anyone's eyes.

we are not a spectacle to be gawped at or a foreign species to be investigated for presentations and I'd like to think we're not immature ignoramuses to be bought with a wink, a nod and a month of half hearted recognition....or are we?

you see, my history is the story of people and civilisations. it is the story of love and war, greatness and great foolishness. it has shaped the world of today and will shape that of tomorrow because my history is the story of all that there is and no matter the colour of your skin your history is no different.

so when this story is sterilised, segregated and forced on to a reservation we all lose out. and that is my whole point. there is no such thing as 'black history'. there is history and we are all in it. let's represent it like that or not at all.


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