T-YOU; Black History Month's Point Is Overlooked

By Vereen, Beverly | The Florida Times Union, February 17, 2007 | Go to article overview

T-YOU; Black History Month's Point Is Overlooked


Vereen, Beverly, The Florida Times Union


Byline: Beverly Vereen

For me, Black History Month brings a great deal of agitation, but of course there is also an exorbitant hue of thanksgiving.

I appreciate the contributions of my forefathers and foremothers. I laud them. And although I'm cognizant of the fact that my generation benefits immensely from my predecessors, I still believe it's time for Black History Month to be restructured, and possibly dismantled.

There's a lot to be learned from black history, but seriously, what purpose does it serve if some members of the black community do not incorporate it into their daily lives?

It is absurd to hold events, banquets, church gatherings, put up African-American decor, display books about black history at the local library, discuss Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks, and other prominent figures for show-and-tell.

Why? Because it's not enough to acknowledge them, pay homage to them and converse about them if we're not going to use their lives, their trials and injustices to find resolutions for the pandemic issues that permeate the black community every day of the year.

The lesson learned from black history is that despite more than 300 years of adversity and misfortune - hatred, enslavement, abuse and countless other afflictions - black people persevered and lived the best life they could while making phenomenal contributions to American society.

However, as I cited earlier, the irony of Black History Month is that the very people it recognizes for their ancestors' unprecedented contributions disrespect the legacy celebrated.

Again, it is foolish to exalt Black History Month yet fail to embody the lessons, principles and traditions practiced by the historical figures we claim to admire. When you have love for your history, your culture and your heroes who paved the way, you emulate them - not dissipate the very foundation they laid for you. …

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