Maybe some feel that Black History month is an essential contribution to what is missing in American textbooks. Initially, it was to celebrate African Americans for their contributions to American society. Yes, African American students are educated on the trans-Atlantic slave trade as they are on the Holocaust, but less on our contributions as a race.
However, now that race does not play a factor in being able to vote or to enroll in a university, is it time to hang it up now? Does it lower expectations to achieve by celebrating the extraordinary once a year? Is it not expected for African American youth to be extraordinary? It seems as though, Black History Month is in overtly saying to black youth that achievement is nearly impossible in America still or that being ourselves is simply not enough. To me, that is the message we convey each February.
And, why are we celebrating those for doing what is supposed to be done? So, does being black automatically give us a false sense of entitlement and excuses our youth of not paying dues or carrying their own weight in life?
I’m not blind to the fact that racism does still exist, but how do we close racial barriers, if we are always pulling the race card? And, how do we gain more respect as a race, if we always expect to be babied or glorified in the process for doing what is right?
In order to gain respect, we need to earn. Yes, it is unfortunate that our ancestors were placed in such a horrible historic position that impacted our African Diaspora negatively, but what is the excuse now in2011? Like the Jewish have done, can we start with some humble pie and move forward please?