Pushing Beyond Black History Month


My general focus here today, or any day for that matter, is to ask questions, provide information, and try to understand why selective history is used to create passions with no end in sight. Before we get our collective shorts in a knot let me just state that I speak from my personal family history when I say that my ancestors were not slave owners (of any race). With that being said I am very confident that myself nor my family owes reparations to anyone for the compensation for their ancestors’ unpaid labor and bondage. I have heard that we need Black History Month in the United States to further educate on history that isn’t taught in the schools or has been abolished altogether. Is it true? Is it true that there are people who do not know their own family history? I hear how the United States Government all the way down to local schools have the burden of responsibility to educate people. Let me tell y’all this quaint little fact, they don’t owe anyone anything. Want to know who needs to take responsibility to know their history? Everybody. Everybody who wants to know something needs to dig a little deeper than the schools and the government, they need to look to family for accurate history, our families are the ones who made the history. Besides, the complaint is that the history of the United States is too “white” and does not cover everyone in the same detail.

A part of history one rarely hears or sees is that slavery in the New World could have never taken place with same numbers and impact if it were not for the African elite selling African slaves to European traders. That’s right, Africans were selling Africans for profit. Why don’t we hear this information during Black History Month? I will tell you why, in my simple opinion, because it is hard to sell a struggle when your own ancestors are the root of slavery. Its hard to make it seem as tho the white man chased down and captured each slave that was brought to the American colonies when the truth is more damning. Now, I have had discussions like this in the past with friends, co-workers, and family before and it always ends up being the same outcome, people hating me because a white man pointed out their ugly history to them. What sucks is the fact that when the words came out of my mouth they reacted as if it was the first time they had heard it.

Want to be pissed of because your ancestors were slaves? Want to be pissed off because you are black and have no ancestors that were ever slaves? Want to be pissed off at me for being white? Good, get pissed off. Get good and pissed because the focus on hating an entire race because a portion of it owned slaves seems like the real mainstream thing to do, it’s very trendy amongst celebrities and well known people as well as the man or woman who is sitting right next to you right now. I don’t owe you anything, not even an apology or a condolence. I used to wonder why a black person hated a white person. I know why now. Do you know? We are raised to hate. We are raised to hate oppression. We are raised to hate the oppressors. We are raised that we need an excuse to hate somebody because it isn’t our fault we are the way we are. We are raised not to be responsible for our words and actions. We are raised and taught anger, fear, and retaliation. Why? Is it because the generation before us did the same thing, and so on and so on?

Who here reading this post even knows the origins of Black History Month? Who here reading this post even knows why Black History Month is celebrated in the month of February? That’s right, leave here, go Google it, and then come back because I’m not done yet. Go ahead, I’ll wait. I fully understand why Black History Month occurs. I respect the search for knowledge. What I can’t appreciate is it being used as a platform to promote hate of other races or that people make money on it as profit. Those of y’all who think I’m wrong don’t get out much do y’all? Celebrating one’s heritage and history should also include the darker side of the history. Perhaps even include a question I would like to ask someone who is black, someone who holds strong to the self appointed title of African American, someone who sees the white man as the devil, and for that person who just hates me for my color. If African slaves were not sold by your African ancestors how likely do you think it is that you would have migrated to North America on your own? If there wasn’t a slave trade which your African ancestors profited from heavily, would you still be here today? When you have an answer to both of those questions then come at me with why you still hate the white man.

Okay, so where do we go from here? Who knows. I’m sure I’ve pissed more than one person off. I think it would be nice if I didn’t know more about black history than most blacks know about black history. That would be a nice start. Will I ever see it? That question will remain unanswered and unpredicted. I would like to think that people who want knowledge would rely on multiple sources before coming to a single conclusion. In the end, it doesn’t matter what a person’s race is, at the end of the day we are living in the year 2014 in a country where slavery has been abolished and not living in Africa where slave ownership is currently still a way of life. Sometimes the truth sucks, sometimes the truth sets you free, sometimes the truth makes you a prisoner, and sometimes the words from the unexpected shake up the way you think. And yes, before everyone starts yelling at me, I know Black History Month goes well beyond slavery in history, it is time “set aside” to celebrate the little known to the famous black people that history has chose to overlook or understate.

Yes, I am white. No, I am not your enemy.