When I was a kid, I subscribed to the idea that even Black History Month was racist, because hey, wasn't it the shortest month of the year? My dad was like, well, it used to be a week.
Me, being a conspiracy theorist, said the following: "Well, maybe they put it in the shortest month of the year just in case."
"They" being the government. Or something. Sue me, I was 8, and fuzzy on the details.
Like many African Americans (or at least I assume so) my relationship with BHM hasn't always been a happy one. On one hand, having a month to celebrate and explore the contributions blacks have made to this country is great. On the other, getting half-assed lessons from white teachers who don't know or care (or secretly think we don't need a month) doesn't really work.
And then there are those who wonder why blacks get a month and no one else does. (Raise your hands if you knew Latino History Month is in August. I learned that from the Disney Channel.). My position on that ridiculous question is simply this: a) if you don't know why by now, there's no point explaining it to you, and b) if you still think it's unnecessary, you're probably a racist. (No offense.)
BHM is almost all pre-Civil Rights history. It acknowledges the struggles of the past, but not those of the present. Yes, George Washington Carver invented the peanut (I'm kidding, but you know what I mean), and MLK had a dream, and my soror Althea Gibson broke barriers in tennis; but then you have Venus and Serena who are still fighting tennis commentators' racism today, and black actors who struggle for truly brilliant roles. And those who do win - Halle and Denzel and Jennifer - are briefly lauded and then everything goes back to the status quo. (Raise your hand if you can tell me how many black actors were nominated for this year's Academy Awards.)
The thing about BHM that bothers me is that it makes it ok to celebrate the successes made a generation or five ago, but it doesn't acknowledge the fact that black history is still being made every day.
Did I mention I've been meaning to pick up a copy of "Racism Without Racists?"
Anyway, happy BHM, ya'll! Here we go again...