Is this a month where we celebrate black excellence or are we just merely acknowledging the existence of black life…
It has been 31 years since BHM has been celebrated in the UK. Given the period of time that has surpassed with the advancements of technology, gaining and furthering your levels of personal knowledge on a particular subject has never been easier. As BHM awkwardly ends with the usual Halloween activities, the advancement of technology has also exposed the surprising levels of ignorance with lectures now being commonly handed out on why blackface is an unacceptable Halloween costume. Yeah, it still happens.
If your friends have done such a thing and you acknowledged it and didn’t comment or say anything, that behaviour sniffs of racism from a *cough* non-racist person.
At times the celebration feels like a losing tussle, the significance and importance of BHM is now being dragged through the muddy terrain of stupidity. A month where black lives should be celebrated, a month where the black skin should feel uplifted is being questioned, targeted, poked, year by year celebrations slowly being dismissed and pushed to the side. It’s become a month where society is unconsciously grabbing the remote and pressing the mute button.
“Black culture looks fun, but we don’t want to hear about all of that”
In Britain there always been a slight discomfort with the celebration of black life and cultures, there is an invisible line that is drawn of how much positive light can be displayed on the event or the individual. Even the mere discussion of this post will make some readers uneasy and itchy. If the black celebration or individual is not eloquently spoken, you’ll be politely told to tone down your blackness or prepare to be silenced. Deem it or be deemed. Celebrate but keep that music down or else. Talk, but don’t talk too much about it all now “it’s in the past”, the time has gone and it’s irrelevant in today’s world.
It is true that, black people are thriving in the UK and other lands for that reason BHM is not seen as the pity of month of celebration anymore. Black people are now being told BHM is not needed any more, let’s make it more diverse, lets elect Asian individuals to celebrate BHM, let’s display this in our universities, let’s make black students feel uncomfortable in their surrounding celebrating their historic events. These placement of Asian faces as the centrepieces of black culture does not in any way make the celebration more diverse or any more beneficial for anybody. It only hushes those voices of pride and joy. The promotion of diversity, doesn’t promote the opportunity to be heard, it’s a politically disturbing way of silencing black voices of expression.
The only time and place that I can say black people are given praise openly or spoken in a more bright light is in when he or she is a sportsperson. Even at the pinnacle of their respective sports, they’ll never truly get the accolades and recognition of their achievements. For all of the hours of sport that I have watched and enjoyed, I have still to this day, heard a commentator or sports analysts describe a black sportsperson of having an element of skill or a degree of elegance attached to their game. Animalistic terms such as their speed, power and strength is more prominent in the mouths of commentators. What people don’t realise is that these tags stick, they stick hard and affect the average black Joe or Martha when he or she isn’t allowed to express his levels of empathy because his too strong, too quick, too powerful to ever feel miserable or sad about any day to day issue.
If you don’t believe me, then do your research. Black women are more likely than white women to die from complications in pregnancy or childbirth in America. Why, you ask? Just like the games children play every day on the playground once you’re hit with a tag, you’re IT.
In school, children are failed by the school system constantly. Black children are left looking for figureheads, idols, easily identifiable black people that are reachable and NO, I’m not talking about their parenting, I’m talking about how easily are children about black historic figureheads, black idols, black superheroes. Children are taught about slavery alongside the Egyptian pharaohs these history lessons easily blur the timeline of a child’s mind. Leaving them to think slavery happened many moons ago.
Staying on the topic of education and the school curriculum, an easy way to gauge what your child is being taught in his or her history lesson during this month, is to simply ask him or her of what black historic figureheads are they able to name. If the kid doesn’t respond with either MLK, Rosa Parks or Nelson Mandela, you’ve either got a bright child who is curious about everything that has happened in the world, you’re either educating your child about worldly matters or your child’s school actually decided to do some research into their teachings. Your child is going to a good school, Mum & Dad pat yourself on the back, you done a good job choosing your child’s school.
Now, please don’t get me wrong at all, there is nothing wrong with naming those individuals are their life accomplishments can never be tainted, what is wrong is teaching as though these individuals are the only black people to have walked the earth. If your child happens to go these sort of schools, then an hour or two of searching or creating a quick google fun quiz won’t do anyone any harm. I’m just saying, educate your bambinos. Forget about children, their young and can only mirror what is around them on daily basis, many fully fledged humanoid adults don’t even know that Barack Obama was not the first black president of America. There has been SEVEN black presidents before Obama, with Thomas Jefferson being one of the men before him. Yes, my American readers, Thomas Jefferson was black and was described as being to a mulatto father. Children, adults, in fact the vast majority of people are not taught or aware of African history, nobody is taught about the richest man to have ever walk this planet, King Mansa Musa I of Mali whose wealth would be the equivalent of $400 billion or £313 billion using today’s current exchange rate, nobody is taught of the political potential Patrice Lumumba had before he was killed with his remains dissolved in acid.
Sometimes you have to ask yourself, why? Why are potential figureheads hidden, hushed, historically swept under the rug.
“Talk, but don’t talk too much about it all now “it’s in the past”, the time has gone and it’s irrelevant in today’s world.”
Coming back to something that I have previously said in this post, this information is attainable. It’s has never been this easy to read about the worlds heroes and crocks, devils and angels, the rights and wrongs that have happened in this world. Ignorance is lazy.
If you felt as though this post felt like a rant, the answers to your questions are on the above paragraphs. BHM is a question of education and educating. Black people thrive everyday everywhere all over the world and will continue to do so. As BHM comes to an end tonight, unfortunately I feel the same issues will be risen and discussed again next year in the UK and this February in America. Until then, I’ll look forward and wish for the day when the month of October isn’t attached with questions of celebration for black Britons.