Swiftly, the end of January ushered in a few noteworthy moments. The first being, my younger brother's, eloquently named, "Jordan Year" (or in more commonly known, 23rd Birthday). Which, mind you, following an unconventional, but traditional holiday season, we celebrated with not only our mother, but with our father, Chocolate Ice Cream Cake and a King Cake. An absolutely beautiful day, we were simply what many people seek daily: H A P P Y (and full of unspoken, but well felt, LOVE).
Following that grand day, January left me, on its last day, the opportunity to speak at the Urban League Gala to promote the importance of literacy and never giving up on one's dreams - even despite trying circumstances. So, once again, I got to share "my story" with individuals who all have the same goal as I do: to inspire people to keep going. As hard as this journey has been, and still is, I wouldn't change any of it because the opportunities that have been provided to me have led me down some amazing paths and to some even more outstanding individuals. And in the great words of Nas, "Life is good. No matter what. Life. Is. Good."
But now, and most prominent, January leads us, by us, I mean "americans," into February. Unless you live under a rock, sorry I am not sorry for the attack on intelligence, February is and has been for many years now, Black History Month. Though it should simply be just another month like every OTHER month, it is not. It was given to us. And this us is black. Black people: Black Women, Black Men, Black Children and all those with one drop of "blackness."
Twenty eight or twenty nine days of "acceptable" celebration for the accomplishments of Black individuals.
ONE month: the shortest month of the year.
That is it. That is all we get.
However, for many Blacks, people of color, rather (because this encompasses many) we live in our Black History three hundred and sixty five days of every single year that passes. We live in our Blackness. We live in the world where it is still mainstream to hide the real horrors of "american" history that many try to keep from us. We live in and through the hatred of bigots, racists, the ignorant, and the like. We live in continued brutality. We live in indifference. We live in chains - still. We live in false freedom.
But, we do live. Despite it all. Unwavered by history's common reoccurrence, we live.
So, in this ONE month, we scream. We bring to light all that was in the dark. We make them, you, me, us ... (us) AWARE. In hopes that a real change, in all its cliché-ness, will come.
In respects, and in tradition with this important month, I'll do my best to share bits of "american" history that have been driven out the curriculum of many schools and overshadowed by the "white man's burden." On that note, I'll leave you with the remarkably disheartening story of the demise of Black Wall Street. A thriving town in Tulsa, Oklahoma that was burned to ground by the white supremist group, Ku Klux Klan, and various other white officials and sympathizers. Leaving, in its wake, the loss of some 3,000 African Americans lives and the demise of over 600 successful businesses. And in just twelve hours, an entire piece of "american" history was eradicated.
Learn more here: The Destruction of Black Wall Street
Become AWARE. When you know better, you do better.
:: Post Rationalizing(s)
"I am not tragically colored. There is no great sorrow dammed up in my soul, nor lurking behind my eyes. I do not mind at all."
― Zora Neale Hurston ―