Sun | Jan 21, 2018

Kelly's World | I forgot that it was Black History Month

Published:Monday | February 27, 2017 | 12:00 AM

I've always heard that Alzheimer's disease only affects you when you're over a certain age. But it seems like I'm getting it early.

As you read this, the date on the calendar will read February 27, so the month well and truly done. The thing is, I completely forgot that February was Black History Month.

Now, as a rule, I don't really set aside any activities or do anything to commemorate the month, but at the very least, I remember that it's the month in which special emphasis is placed on remembering the important people and events in the history of people of African descent.

Well, for some reason, this year I completely forgot. I guess my head's been in the clouds lately, worrying about all manner of foolishness that will not be solved by worrying.

Or maybe I've finally damaged some essential part of my brain (repeated self-inflicted blows to the head will do that).

Or maybe, just maybe, I no longer have an acute interest in the month. For the record, my level of interest in many things is usually quite small, and the list of things that do capture my full attention is even smaller.




When I was in school, Black History Month was a big thing. We studied the great people of African descent, and not just from Jamaica, land we love, but all over the world.

I suppose that as I got older, while I still remember the names, the energy of the month has faded for me.

But the more I think about it, the more I realise I've never been as 'pro black' as many people I come in contact with.

For instance, if Nigeria plays another African team in football, let's say Algeria, I know many people who will cheer for 'the black man side'.

Ahm, Algerians aren't 'white' folks, they're just not the same shade.




Sometimes I wonder if I'm an Oreo cookie, black on the outside, white inside. But I think that might be melodramatic thinking.

I cringe at the videos of police in the United States (mostly, but not exclusively) beating/ shooting/killing unarmed black men.

I wonder what becomes of the young black woman who knows her rape case will not make it to a courtroom because the accused is white, especially if he comes from 'old money'.

But am I a fan of any move to give minorities 'a bly' at getting jobs and spots in colleges and universities at the expense of individuals from other races who are more qualified? No.

I've heard of people who, if they receive the 'thumbs up' emoji on WhatsApp, and the colour of the thumb is yellow (which was the only choice you had at one point), they're offended.

Stuff like that doesn't bother me. If I had been asked to sign a petition about proposing to add different shades to the thumb's colour, I probably wouldn't have signed it.

I'm pretty certain my mentality would be that there are other things I could and should be focused on.

Well, whatever the reason, I sleepwalked through this year. But, hey, there's always 2018. If I remember.

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