In honor of Black History Month, I thought it was necessary to use this blog as a wakeup call. Every February, radio and TV companies put together these programs and shows paying homage to the great African American contributors (usually telling us stories we’ve heard since pre-k). All of a sudden we get this big rush of pride and shout “Black Power!” all over the place. All month long we walk around with our chests out and our fists in the air whenever we see the wonderful things our people have contributed to American history. But after those 28 or 29 days are over, the chests collapse, the fists fall and that rush disappears. Why is that? Our history should be flowing through our veins; it should be reflected in our words and in our actions daily, so why does it go away come March 1st?
To be quite honest, I don’t think we are as prideful as we want society to believe. We talk a good game, but do we really walk it? Sure we parade around in our BHM shirts quoting MLK’s “I have a Dream” speech, but how many of us are really fulfilling King’s words? Don’t get me wrong, I know we are proud of how far we’ve come as a race, but a few of us think the work is over, we think that we somehow “made it”. For example, When President Obama won the election, a lot us thought that was the ultimate fight to fight and we had finally won it—No. While, the first black president of the United States was something we thought we would never see, and yes it took us a huge step forward as a race, but that doesn’t mean the fight is over. Barack Obama is in the White House, not us, so we should use his achievement as motivation to keep fighting, to keep moving forward in our own lives. We cannot ride on President Obama’s achievement forever. So what kind of history are we making as individuals?
The same sense of pride, fearlessness, and faith our people had 50, 70, 100 years ago, should still be reflected in the work that we do today. A few nights ago, TV1 broadcast “The Black List” a show that basically highlighted the lives of a few influential African-Americans, some I honestly forgot about. Colin Powell was one of the features and he said “This generation thinks it’s normal to see blacks in high positions; we can’t forget what had to be done to get here.” He confirms my earlier statement and says, “We cannot rest on the achievements of the past 30- 40 years.” *Raises hand in agreement*
Even with all the accomplishments our forefathers made, all the barriers that have been torn down, there is still more work to be done. With that being said I’ll take it a step further: society owes us NOTHING. We have indeed come far enough that we can stop blaming others for the decisions we’ve made it our lives. I give thanks to the ones that broke down the doors so that I can walk through them. It is time for us to stop making excuses, get off our lazy butts and make history!
Happy Black History Month!
In loving memory of: