Thu | Nov 30, 2023

Celebrate black history all year long

Published:Saturday | February 4, 2023 | 12:24 AM


Evidently, one of the reasons for the Black History Month celebration is to impress on the minds and hearts of black people the world over a pride in their ancestral accomplishments and thus a belief in their own self-worth and possibilities.

Such reigning in of the minds might perhaps be to reroute their focus from things like drugs, get-rich-quick schemes of scamming, self-hate, daily murdering and a slew of attendant vices that seem to tarnish the black race as a whole.

But, in reality though, does the month of February actually impact black people in any significant way more than the head on a dollar bill means anything to the user? Does February really engenders a collective sense of dignity and self-empowerment among the black population more than any other indifferent month of the year, where, the increase in skin bleaching, for example, has obviously overridden the platitude that ‘black is beautiful’? Increasingly, there a clear reality where celebrations are merely empty symbolisms, if they are of no immediate use to the man in the street. Self-service is the hallmark and all-embracing religion.

Therefore, to inspire a man forward by pointing out the accomplishments of his black ancestry, he may actually reply “Wow that’s great!” But immediately moves on as he forgets all about that. While another may say “So what does their success have anything to do with me?”

A spirit of a unified observance becomes a utopian dream where envy, jealousy (bad mind), animosity and murders take precedence over any harmony and brotherhood. There is also the added impediment of class distinction among black people, which is easily more powerful than any unity that could result from just being of the same skin colour.

A conviction of black togetherness and collective empowerment is an illusion when measured against the stark realities of the day – and maybe it’s a good thing that it is so. For, consider a black man who is married to a Caucasian, an Asian or any other race. Consider when the distinction and the value of race become asserted over a love and humanity that brought them together and which apparently is the central value in man – whichever month, of whatever colour.


Mount Vernon

New York