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Farewell To Black History Month

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Black history month always goes by so fast. Oh yeah, I forget…It’s the shortest month of the whole year. So we’ve all seen the touching commercials with a candle in the background as we hear about a woman named Harriet Tubman or a man named Booker T. Washington. Do they even bother to come up with new profiles?

Of course there were the poignant consumer ads comparing gastrointestinal problems to slavery and the unifying conversations about reparations. My favorite, the Think Tank sponsored discussions where black conservatives and black liberals talk about how much they hate each other.

My own personal experience was the response I wrote to an article titled, It’s February? Let’s Talk Reparations! at Pop & Politics. Got a little praise and a little criticism, but one email said it was clear from my stand on reparations that I’m gay. Still trying to figure that one out so I know how to explain it to my boyfriend when I break the news that I’m a big lez.

Enough with the sarcasm. There are a lot of important messages that were able to take advantage of the month to get a little extra play such as HIV/AIDS awareness and we all are better for it. However, Black History Month, like any other celebration or holiday has become more a tool for consumerism (not sure if that is a real word).

The month is also used as a political tool by Democrats who want to remind black folks how much Republicans hate us despite their own party not having done much more than shove black representation in our faces at the end of political campaigns. Republicans, not to be left behind, use February to point out how they are the party of Lincoln and why can’t us stupid black people remember that?

And what would a holiday be without a backlash? Lest they not be taken advantage of, some blacks (okay just one guy being covered in about a million stories) are refusing to participate in Black History month events because they feel they are being pimped out for cosmetic purposes and then ignored the other 11 months of the year.

So, it’s March 1st. Are we all closer now?

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About awinters

  • Eric Olsen

    AW, very funny, jaundiced but seems pretty accurate perspective to me. Thanks! My thinking on tributes and “months” is that it never hurts to shine a light on a worthy topic and take a little time to think about it, even if many of the angles involved are cynical.

  • I didn’t see much of that consumerism myself. I also didn’t see much else going on but lip service.

    Ya big lez 🙂

  • >>So, it’s March 1st. Are we all closer now? << Well, we're closer to St. Patricks day, the ONE day that Americans of Irish descent - who outnumber African Americans, btw - get to celebrate their heritage. Hmmm something to blog about - reparations for the Irish! Dave

  • Americans of Scottish descent don’t even get ONE day, Dave – count yourself lucky!

    (I’m not even going to mention Americans of American descent…)

  • I am actually mostly of Scotts descent, but since we get to rule the world, it seemed excessive to give us a holiday.



    In mentioning St. Patrick’s day for tthe IRish, did that include “black Irish” as well? 😉

  • The Black Irish ought to get St. Patricks Day I would think, but what of the poor Scotts Irish – what do they get in reparation for being forcibly transported to the hellhole that is Irleand and then having to flee to America?


  • Stacey

    The Scotts and the Irish inter-married so much that there really isn’t a clear distinction at this point. Chances are if you have one you have the other–so smile, neighbor and pour me another Guinness. I’ll put on the corned-beef, cabbage and potatoes. You bring the harp.

  • My Scotts grandmother would slap you right about now, Stacey. Ethnically the two races may be indistinguishable, but that mixing was a long, long time ago as far as the Scotts are concerned. In the modern era marrying someone from Ireland would be just about as bad as marrying a Sasenach. In my gran’s generation the Irish were passable servants and not good for much else.