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© 02/06/07


Happy 28 Days of Watching White People Fret About Black History Without Bothering To Learn Any While We Trot Out The Same Old Trivia That We Re-Hash Every Year For One Month, Settling for Mere Days of Recognition When What We Really Oughta Do Is Make Sure Our History is Integrated Into American History and Celebrate Our Achievements Every Month of the Year, Not Just In February!


Whew! That’s a long title but I couldn’t make it any shorter. Look, twenty-eight days is pretty special, I admit. There’s only one day for the Irish, St. Patrick’s Day, and the Mexicans, Cinco de Mayo. But African-Americans have been here as long as Europeans, so our celebration of our historical contributions to this country should be just as long as theirs is: twelve months, not one.


It was an African, Crispus Attucks, who was the first ‘American’ to die in the Revolutionary War. A statute is erected to him in Boston, but most Americans don’t know his name, yet the names of Patrick Henry and other Revolutionary War heroes are written in American history books for all to see. Why is Crispus Attucks name only written in books about African-American history?


Some folk want to do away with African-American History celebrations, hoping that would usher in a new era of inclusion. Of course, that is very unlikely, given this country’s record of not including any recognition of our achievements without a fight in any medium, whether it be history books, museums, period movies, art, music or just folklore.


What I propose is an AfrAm Historical Timeline calendar each year that points out the significant dates we should remember and the things we should observe on those dates. For instance, January would include MLK’s birthday and the national federal holiday honoring him, as well as the anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation and the creation of “watch night’ services. Each month would chronicle such events and historical moments in our history, ending with the Kwanzaa celebration in December, following Christmas and Channukah.


In the meantime, when every American knows the name of the African-American who was the first American killed in the American Revolution, African-American History will just be American History.


Until then, we’ve only got those 28 days and MLK Day and Juneteenth and those seven days of Kwanzaa and the fourth Saturday in July when down in Texas where I’m from the black community has a big  homecoming celebration every year and that reunion they have every year in Spencer Sharples and  April 4th, the anniversary of the assassination of MLK and Nelson Mandela’s birthday (when is that exactly?) and any of the rest of the year when we feel like celebrating some black person in this country or elsewhere on the planet who has done something of significance like being born alive and sane, like surviving, like speaking truth, like making music, like standing up for what’s right, like being human despite all efforts to dehumanize and demoralize each and every one of us.


© 2/6/07 AfrAm Style


Contact me at: gjchitchat@yahoo.com

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