In Conclusion

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I am finishing out this month with a few pictures and captions from my cousin’s facebook page. He’s been educating through Facebook; Russell A. Johnson

Today concludes Black History Month officially. However, it should not be the last day that black history is taught. We should be able to learn about more people other than aeshtically pleasing, aka “safe”, blacks in history. Whether it is positive or negative, whether it was good or bad, whether they were poor and had their ideas/inventions stolen or they were rich and had their ideas/inventions stolen…. history is history regardless of history.

Carter G. Woodson started the week with the idea of teaching little brothers and sisters about their heritage in a society that took our identity. We are the only peoples without a “native” tongue. We were stripped and intentionally systematically brainwashed into adopting foreign ideas; only to see that (in 2014) the same persons who came and conquered a land of “savages” and didn’t learn the native language of the land, want to require newcomers to America to learn English in order to reside here.

Morgan Freeman also had a point. I’m sick of black history month too. Not because it is the “shortest month” and not because we really do only tend to be taught about a few people as if we ALL came from like 15 individuals. I’m sick of black history month because we are all part of the history, black, white, indian, native, chinese, etc. History is created by humans, not by race/creed/ethnicity. But to argue with Mr. Freeman, if we don’t continue this month…. we’ll never know about some of the people that I’ve even just learned about this year.

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Here is the first black female opera singer; Marian Anderson.

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Here is the first boxer to win a world boxing championship; and hold a whole bunch of titles until a young boxer named Joe Louis came along.

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Here is the first black filmmaker, Oscar Devereaux Micheaux. He successfully produced silent films and talking pictures without the support of white film studios.

Without this month, some knowledge would be forgotten and things would continue to hold us down. Without this month, people like Jordan Davis, Oscar Grant and Trayvon Martin would be dismissed as thugs; as if there’s no redemption and no one can change.

This is the one time I can actively see people educating and coming together. The one time people seem to have some act right. Now if we could only honor the people who fought so that we could have the privilege of “twerking” and being “ratchet”… then and only then would we be on the right track. Let’s be serious, that isn’t cute or cool. It’s time to grow up.

We need to teach our young black males and females self respect, dignity… and I’m not just preaching to the choir. I’ve done unsavory things that I’m not proud of. I’ve been “ratchet” a few times and I’ve been unworthy of being called a proud black woman. But I now have a son and I have to be strong enough, smart enough and wise enough to raise him in the way he should go. I need to teach him right from wrong and give him a sense of pride to look up to. He needs to know that he can invent, fly, run, play sports, dance, rap, sing, draw, go to the moon and do whatever he wants to do and be all that he can be. And he will know that I will not allow injustice to happen to him. He will not be afraid, but will be cautious. He will not be disrespected, but will command respect. He will not be a heathen, for he is a son of God and will learn this. He will know of the sacrifices of all colored peoples, both enslaved and free; African, Islanders, Asian and/or otherwise; he will know what he can achieve and will achieve them.

In closing, I hope you all have kept an eye on the news. With the potential passing of a law in Arizona that would give restaurant owners the right to deny LBGT patrons; there’s a chance that history will reverse for a time and we (as black folks) will see us being denied the same rights that many were imprisoned and tortured, threatened and died for. I’m not here to debate the morality, correctness or anything else…. just telling you to open your eyes.

Until next time
*deuces*

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Arthur Ashe

I was a little facetious when I said in school we only learned about a handful of black people in our history. There were quite a few, but their significance, in comparison to our white counterparts, was not equal. We learned about surface blacks. That is, we learned about the ones they couldn’t hide, or erase, or the ones who made minor achievements.

Not diminishing what was achieved but let me be clear; I’m proud of sporting achievements. But I find more pride in educational, scientific and philosophical ones.

Having said that, I cannot deny Arthur Ashe. He was around shortly before Magic was discovered to have HIV. One died, one survived.

Arthur Ashe was a great black tennis player. He was the first black named to the US Davis Cup team, and the first to win at Wimbledon, the US Open and the Australian Open…

He retired from the sport in 1980. In 1992, he announced that he had HIV/AIDs; which was said to be contracted through a blood transfusion.