So black history month is here again and people are putting on different events to celebrate it that minimizes what its all about. I have seen talks that miss the point. I have seen films about black stars or even black projects. Plays and workshops for enjoyment about black people and how we celebrate or entertain one another. I have even seen black history comedy shows. I also saw stuff about Arabs and Africans (loosely involved in black history I would say, because they each have their own forums to express themselves).
What is lacking quite frankly are events that tell us about the identity of black people from England and the Caribbean who are the people who have suffered most and are least celebrated. People who are talking about our actual identity, not as Negros or blacks but as Hebrews. People who are stimulating conversation about how we got here and what our role will be beyond our current involvement in civic life.
What is missing from the discussion and general collage of current black history subject matter are sensitive but honest discussions about the current state of racism and access to educational and workplace progress. What is missing are events that challenge our youth to be more than consumers, more than gang members, more than sports and entertainment stars but future leaders of communities and our country.
Black history month needs to go deeper and be less superficial, it needs to not allow what is a good thing be high jacked by those who have an agenda to calm the waters or interracial relationships so much that there is little honesty about the current state of affairs or reasonable discussion and problem solving about the current issues that face us. However to deny a problem today is to face an avalanche tomorrow. The future is just around the corner and denial can leave us open to greater challenges than we face today. We in the UK need to wake up and smell the coffee, then we need to drink it, analyse what we have drunk and make a better cup tomorrow.
The answer to superficial engagement is honest, deeper and more realistic events that deal with real issues and involve the majority in solving the problem. While we boast about our achievements, let us not forget that our past is checkered as a nation for much wrong has been done to people of color and event the best intentioned European has progressed or enjoyed progress on the backs of persons of color. Slavery may be over for most people, but persons of color are still suffering from its effects. Many would like to forget about black history month, even water down its events, but it's in the interest of those for whom it was initiated to use it to settle issues, develop as a people and grow beyond where we are to where we need to go.
The future has a color, it's not green, its not even orange or yellow, it's red. We are currently on a red race stop light and many think we are on green. For this reason, we are not making progress but are at the grid locked stop light of political correctness waiting for someone who can problem solve honestly and get things moving. Why not be a problem solver and community activist that can help us all to move forward. The qualifications are: honesty, suffering, problem solving skills and enthusiasm to get results.