Black History Is American History…
I didn’t know for most my life because intentionally
it was cruelly and unfairly hid from me.
And, just as tragically,
it was buried in the deepest and darkest sea
from those who do and who do not look like me.
Had I’d been made known of our major contributions in building America and that we, too, have been the scholars, innovators, philosophers, the warfighters, the great creators of every art genre in existence,
who knows how far others and I could have gone? Who knows where and who we might be?
Me simply asking that is not me making excuses for every life failure nor is it “just playing the victim.”
But, the irony is, victimization, in and of itself, was intended to occur.
Or else, why would so many instances of our achievements and excellence throughout history be missing out of so much of the curriculum.
Black History Month is recognized,
not just so we can celebrate African Americans who invented a bunch of stuff.
It’s an opportunity for us to more critically analyze
a history, one that often gets inaccurately romanticized,
through an honest lens, in the absence of the sugar coating and the fluff.
Because, when we’re not versed in or don’t except certain parts of our history,
it has a tendency
to disastrously repeat itself.
Because–and although they’re my heroes–MLK and Rosa Parks didn’t obtain the whole victory.
They made progress, but they left us plenty of work to do ourselves.
So, let’s be made enlightened by this great institution of education.
But, let’s also allow it to inspire us to continue to empower our own minds when all the classes are done.
If we really want to excel and thrive as a nation,
the intentional and attentive examination
of Black History, every month, will reveal to us how such fight can be won.
Because, we can’t know where we’re going if we don’t know where we’re coming from.
And then, we can’t understand the kind of just and equal nation we should be.
Acknowledging significant events in our country’s past, all year, opens our eyes to our fate to come.
Black History is and always was American History.
Photo by Luke Michael on Unsplash