Black History month has its detractors from various white supremacists to curiously progressive black people who think that Black History Month is a form of cultural segregation that sabotages real progress by blah blah blah blah.
In spite of the fact that this year's BHM has flown by so fast that I practically forgot about it, yet again, I want to stand firmly in support of this time of year when we acknowledge, celebrate, and honor African-America.
For the overwhelming majority of mainstream people of all races BHM is a 28 (and sometimes 29) day trove of nonobligatory cultural benefit including, but not restricted to:
EDUCATION - Granted, many of the factoids presented during BHM via media outlets are annual rehash. I've learned nothing new about Harriet Tubman this year from any blurbs devoted to black history. One new tidbit I have absorbed this February is that former Hootie and the Blowfish frontman Darius Rucker is the first African American to win the Country Music Association's New Artist of the Year Award. I saw that on television which is where I get most of my BHM information. For those People more vigorous in their pursuit of enlightenment there are still a host of events and standing venues devoted to black history and culture. While we often think of museums, the theatre, or festivals, don't forget about your local independent coffee shop. No one knows more about black history and culture than white hipsters for some reason.
SOUL FOOD - Soul food has been taking a knock for the past thirty or so years for its contribution to deteriorating health in the black community. The fact is that these days there is about as much malnutrition in a salad from the Cheesecake Factory as there is in a plate at Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles. It was not Dr. King's dream for the nutritional bar of little white children to drop to the level of little black children. I'm just saying that comparatively speaking soul food need no longer be the gustatory pariah its been for the past couple decades or so. Soul food is good and what better time to enjoy this cultural cholesterol than February.
SHIT LIKE THIS - Here is a link to an article that sums up the self-created confusion over what is racist and what isn't. Like soul food, these tiffs aren't good for you, but they are gratifying.
If these aren't compelling enough reasons to keep Black History Month an ongoing event than I will cede and opt to have it stopped... Right after they halt Oktoberfest which I don't support abolishing, but I would not sit idly by and watch BHM go down alone.
As we close out BHM 2010, please spend it more wisely than I did. Go take a drive down Martin Luther King Boulevard, Google "Harriet Tubman narcolepsy"(the results should get you a little angry), support your local soul food restaurant. And do it soon. After February it's time to brush up on Rosie the Riveter. That's right, March is Women's History Month and Ironically, there is no good food associated with WHM except for corned beef and cabbage. MMMMM-MMM.
Following the Civil War Jefferson Davis sold his family plantation to Ben Montgomery, a former slave of the Davis family who had run the plantation store. Montgomery once tried to get a patent for a steamboat propeller but was denied because he was not a citizen. When the Davis brothers attempted to furnish the patent on his behalf they were denied because they were not the inventors. Two years later the Civil War broke out. True story.