Friday, February 06, 2009
My Love/Hate Relationship with BHM
I'm a big hypocrite when it comes to Black History Month. My capital-B, Black revolutionary self believes the very concept is offensive, for so many reasons. Mainly, because Black history shouldn't be segregated from the rest of American history. By doing so, it gives people a free pass to ignore the role Black people have played in shaping this country since setting foot on American soil. Black history, Hispanic history, it's all American history. What the heck is America except a country made up of a whole lot of foreigners anyway? Why should our contributions be singled out in February and not included in every other history book, text and educational curriculum? Why don't we talk about Bessie Coleman along side Amelia Earhart? Why isn't Zora Neale Hurston as important as Truman Capote?
But then there's me the author and speaker who happens to be Black and who happens to have a lot to say about Black people and their contributions to American culture. And guess what? My phone rings more in the month of February than ever before. Everybody wants a piece of me during February and I have a mortgage to pay and two very hungry boys to feed. So professionally, BHM is like my cash cow and boy do I know how to milk her. Of course I try to use my BHM speaking and writing engagements for good. I spread my message of multicultural history and hope to make people stop and think. Maybe get the rest of the country on board for integrating all of the colored people's history into the big book and celebrate all year long. But then of course, I'd have to find another cash cow.
So what do you think about Black History Month? Does it serve a purpose or does it do more harm than good? What do you do to celebrate or protest? Please share.
And don't forget to comment on our first opinion poll and get a chance to win a copy of asha bandele's, Something Like Beautiful.
And one more thing. If you're interested, Nadya Suleman, the mother of octuplets is spilling her story to NBC's Ann Curry. The link shows a clip from the interview but the full interview will air on Monday on the Today show.
Enjoy the weekend!