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?