By Amari D. Pollard
For a solid three weeks I’ve been thinking about how I should structure this article: how I want it to start, what should be the main message, etc. Some may consider that odd, since I’m so close to the subject, but after all that has happened over the past several months in America, I don’t really know what else can be said.
So I guess I’ll start here:
February. A month for most that means the coming of the Super Bowl [the Seahawks should have won that thing], and Valentine’s Day [a commercial holiday meant to make all single people feel bad about being single], and Lent, is so much more than that.
It’s Black History Month!
A time where we celebrate the achievements of black Americans and their central role in American history.
Many people believe having a month designated to the accomplishments of a race is unnecessary because it’s a time where people only pretend like they care about African-American history, or that it supports separation, or that it forces us to recognize racism [which some people like to think is nonexistent].
However, Black History Month is not only a reminder of how important it is for blacks to understand the journey of their liberation, but how important it is for everyone to acknowledge the issues that institutionalized racism and color privilege within American society.
Last month I went to see the movie Selma, and I cried through the whole movie—literally the whole thing. I mean, I’ve always been aware of the African-American plight, but to see it so detailed and graphic made it feel so extremely real, so current. So I cried. I cried at life’s unfairness. I cried at all the things all those people had to endure just to have their rights recognized. I cried at the strength and resilience of my people.
For some reason, many people think being black is something we should be ashamed of. Supposedly we are all violent, or criminals, or underprivileged, or uneducated, or loud [personally I didn’t know you could just lump a whole race together].
And yeah, I can totally understand why people would have that mind set. I mean, who would want to be a part of the race that endured and overcame 245 years of enslavement? Or invented things like the carbon filament for the light bulb, the modern day gas mask, and peanut butter? Or that dominate the sports industry? That’s totally nothing to be proud of. [If you couldn’t tell that was sarcasm.]
The truth is, everyone should be proud to celebrate black culture and black history [and every other culture for that fact], because it is all a part of our history and a part of us. Think about it. Where would America be today if it were not for the black community?
That is why, every minute of everyday I am proud to be black and proud to celebrate the culture that fought for my future.
Photo courtesy of http://www.graphic-design.com