“Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.” – Edmund Burke
I for one, am sad to see February and Black History Month leave us behind.
“Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. Also known as African American History Month, the event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating Black history.” – history.com/topics/black-history/black-history-month
Here are three of my February articles that dealt with Black history:
- The Black Emperor of Broadway – thesubtimes.com/2021/02/02/the-black-emperor-of-broadway-2020-film-review/
- Helen and My Black History Story – thesubtimes.com/2021/02/17/helen-and-my-black-history-story/
- The Long Song – thesubtimes.com/2021/02/22/the-long-song-slavery-and-beyond-pbs-series-review/
The Black Emperor of Broadway was an excellent film about a successful Black actor performing on stage on Broadway. My story about Helen was a personal recollection of a Black friend who mentored me when I was a student and working with her at Western State Hospital, and The Long Song was about Jamaica and not about our country at all, except the story was much like our own southern history of slavery with it’s fear, exploitation, and miss-treatment. These stories are like another “brick in the wall” of our history or if you look at them from a different perspective, a removal of the bricks in the wall that divide us.
I love history. The more history we know, the more we should be glad of who we are and where we all came from, how we got here, and how we all contribute to our world. Just because our ancestors came from a particular country, doesn’t mean that’s where their people were always from. Throughout human history, man has always picked up and moved to find food, to escape disease and oppression, or simply to make a better life.
Native Americans started coming here roughly more than 10,000 years ago. The Chinese and the Europeans came in the fourteen hundreds on possibly the heels of the Vikings a little over a thousand years ago. Go back far enough we all came from Africa in one diaspora or another. In the end we’re all just people . . . of the same family.
Special days offer interesting tidbits. I often celebrate Special Days on my Facebook Page. For example, this year when I mentioned President’s Day, my buddy Gabriel Landry informed me that the Puyallup Tribe celebrates Chief’s Day on that special day. I would love to read about past chiefs from our area at the same time and learn more about James K. Polk. Polk, the 11th U.S. president who expanded U.S. boundaries significantly with the annexation of the Republic of Texas and the Oregon Territory, included the area of Washington State and local tribal lands. Our world has many connections and plenty of room for the expansion of our minds and thoughts.
I like this statement by Ta-Nehisi Coates “This is your country, this is your world, this is your body, and you must find some way to live within the all of it.” Coates is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller “Between the World and Me.” It’s sad to lose Black History Month for another year, but I’ll be looking for articles and stories to share in all the other months that are left for this year . . . and beyond.
The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.