Black History Month: The Unidentified American

Isn\’t it lovely! Two thousand seventeen is off to a great start, and most people have survived President Donald Trump\’s Inauguration!  Now it is time for some much needed culture and enlightenment, which couldn\’t be more perfect to usher in Black History Month.  It took a long time for \”Negro Week\” to equate an entire month, but luckily Dr. Carter G. Woodson thought about preserving the culture of the \”Negro.\”  It was important since many history books lacked accounts of the \”Negro,\”  so he created the  \”Negro Journal\”. It provided more Blacks the opportunity to share their contribution to the fabric of America.

Not even 30 days to Celebrate

What a difference an entire month can make! Furthermore, what if the month only has twenty-eight days depending on the year? So much for recognizing the Negro\’s contributions. Thank you very much Dr. Woodson.  Although not much consideration was given to the Negro during this time, Dr. Woodson wanted to recognize the birthdays of President Abraham Lincoln along with Frederick Douglass in the calendar month of February. This is how \”Negro Week\”, in a nutshell, came about.  President Lincoln\’s strategy to determine the effect of disposable slave labor was very empathetic.  He gave consideration to the fact that the Negro had been digging the trenches for the battles, cooking the food, and attending to the wounded during the Civil War. This later led to the Emancipation Proclamation.  First recognized as a slave, Frederick Douglass was determined to bring attention to the ills of slavery illustrated in his 1852 speech \”This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn.\”  Later, escaping slavery he became an abolitionist, very instrumental in the process of President Lincoln setting the slaves free.


Culture Existence 

Well, we don\’t have much time to waste, and before Beyonce\’ makes another announcement, lets concentrate on how we arrived at \”Black\” better known as African American.  But back to Bee for one quick second -she has a very distinctive blackness, being of Creole decent. How did we arrive to be known as \”African Americans?\” Perhaps its lineage has to do with the fact that many slaves from Africa were separated from their families upon boarding Brookes sustainable ship in 1790.  Nonetheless, \”Blacks\” have made much progress from being identified or classified as slaves, to cotton picking nigger, to Negro, to colored, to black, and most recently the month formerly known as Black History Month changed to \”National African American History Month\” thanks to President Trump.  Maybe \”Melanin Month\” is better since it has more value and worth.

Despite the conditions slaves suffered on the Brookes to get to the New World, many survived being separated from their families, while being sold on concrete slabs for coins. However, the issues of family separation still persists in the African American culture with added racial tension within the society or systematically.  Many ignorant to the culture of Blacks,\’ favorite phrase -\”Go back to where you came from.\”  How difficult could this be?, suppose you should go back to the hospital where you were delivered, or you arrived holistically.

Nonetheless, it has been a crisis and challenge trying to classify or identify \”Blacks\” in America.  The LGBT community thinks they are facing certain challenges alone, just know the \”Blacks\” have yet to figure out how they truly identify in the West.

Culture Influence

In the book \”Reflection of a Maverick,\” James Baldwin says to Lester during an interview \”I said before that Americas effort to avoid the presence of black people constricts American literature.\”  Besides when you take a trip that requires a passport, oftentimes one is identified as American, it\’s only once you return home that you can voluntarily check black on the box.  What if you never check the box? No one would know what you identify as because it\’s nothing to bring attention to.  Most recently, Carolyn Bryant Doham brought attention to the nation by announcing that Emmett Till never grabbed her by the waist.  However, President Trump says \”grab em by the pu**y.\”

Enduring the confinement of being classified as entertainers, and athletics, many Black contributors to America are surfacing such as the release of Hidden Figures.  It seems as though not many mention Blacks contributions these days, possibly due to talks of domestic violence which is usually reserved for the month of October.

Luckily, we have moved up in the ranking identifiers in America from slaves, to cotton picking nigger, to Negro, to colored, to black and now National African American History Month, but blacks must come to terms and agree on identifiers or simply stick to melanin since that holds more value.

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