I’m not the biggest fan of “celebrating” Black History Month for all the reasons many people criticize its existence. Why isn’t every month Black History Month? Why isn’t there a White History Month? And so on…
Yet, I found it tantamount to the powerful existence of the African people as a unit, and African-Americans as a smaller unit, to honor the history tied into Black History Month. What Carter G. Woodson did back in 1926, when he founded Negro History Week, laid the brickwork to what we now know as Black History Month.
My mother grew up during New York City’s 60’s and 70’s era, and till this day she emphasizes the fact that she had to go the library to learn about Black people and our history. There was no discussion, whatsoever, of Black people in her schools, from teachers or in textbooks. So, what you didn’t get at home (usually from lacking education), you found for yourself in the free books of the library.
More than 50 years after the declaration of Negro History Week, what were now called “Black” children and adults, were still lacking access to their own history. The need was real. A month, if not a whole year, was necessary to be designated as solid recognition of a forgotten people.
Even today, as I speak to people who consider themselves to be very educated (many with all types of degrees, certifications and validations of intelligence) I often find myself schooling them on what used to be considered the basics of Black history.
In such, as I aim to honor the testament of the African American contribution to just about everything, I will honor Black History Month. In midst of my condescending ‘everyone should recognize and honor Black history everyday’ attitude, I obviously recognize the reality that we’re not that from where we were in 1976, or even in 1926.
For too many reasons, we still need Black History Month, and at this rate, a hell of a lot more, to instill pride, love and justice back into the African diaspora. With that being said, for the month of February, Ancestral Libation will occur every Friday, honoring an array of Black and Brown history makers and game changers.
In honor of our powerful and gracious ancestors, who have paved so much more than the way to peace, justice and love, but also the path to freedom; peace and blessings be upon you! May your sacrifice, honor and legacy reign true in our strength to complete the puzzle of life, love and liberty.