If You Are Celebrating Black History Month You Really DON’T Care About Black History At All

THANK GOD it’s finally February 1st, because ever since I launched my blog on April 1st of 2010, I have been DYING to write about this topic. If you celebrate Black History Month and fully support and believe in it, you are doing more HARM to the cause of Black history being considered a valid part of the World’s history, than any perceived good you want to pat yourself on the back for.

The WORST thing to happen to the history of Black people was not that it was merely ignored and passed over, but moreso that it was compartmentalized into a non-important, easily segmented, specialized view of history on a whole, especially AMERICAN history. In fact I will state I would rather see our contribution to history be fully IGNORED than recognized as ONLY being worthy of one month of trivial recognition.

And don’t be fooled – our recognition is EXTREMELY trivial. Besides the obvious ritualistic praise of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks and Nelson Mandela [and constant misreading, misinterpretation and misunderstanding of their true intents actions], what PISSES me off and drives me INSANE about Black History Month is how our extremely intricately awe-inspiring past is broken down into Random Acts of Unimportant BS such as: “Did you know a BLACK man invented PEANUT BUTTER?” or “Did you know a BLACK man invented the traffic light?”

Here’s the better question: Do I CARE who did that regardless of their race?


Truth be told, I can see the relevancy in those small achievements, but a) don’t gloss over our actual MEANINGFUL accomplishments to state that bullsh*t, and b) why is WHITE history never trivialized? We are FORCED to learn about how immaculate and deity-like the Forefathers were, but NEVER am I inundated with facts like “Did you know it was a white man who coined the phrase ‘Up sh*t’s creek without a paddle?’ I NEVER learned that because my teacher would have told me it would be a waste of a class to learn that, but come Black history month it’s all good to start throwing around those facts because I guess we don’t have enough substantive contributions to make an entire FULL month of history around…

BULLSH*T.


Black people have contributed IMMENSELY to the formation of the United States, Canada and the rest of the free world. I am NOT petitioning against Black history month because I have a problem with one month of the year being dedicated to Black history [who gives a DAMN if it’s the shortest or longest month?], I am petitioning against it because Black History is too monumental, remarkable, and significant to NOT be a regular and consistent part of EVERY curriculum worldwide as a Year Round inclusionary topic.


This Is Your Conscience

p.s. If you don’t know these people are in the pics off-hand, then there’s a definitive problem…

When Lincoln Anthony Blades is not writing for his controversial and critically acclaimed blog ThisIsYourConscience.com, he can be found contributing articles for Uptown Magazine. Lincoln wrote the hilarious and insightful book "You're Not A Victim, You're A Volunteer: How To Stop Letting Love Kick Your Ass". He is also a public speaker who has sat on panels all over North America and the Caribbean.

67 Comments

  1. Ben

    02/01/2011 at 5:33 AM

    I think the idea is that since it is NOT covered in the normal curriculum, then a special effort does need to be made. However, I do agree that some of the stuff like the peanut butter is useless!

  2. madscientist7

    02/01/2011 at 10:59 AM

    i actually agree. carter g. woodson had a great idea in creating achievement week because he was all about education of black people, especially when it came to learned about other blacks. today i feel that black history month is more of a commercialized gimmick. sort of like valentine's day. why do you have to wait till 2/1 to start learning about the accomplishments of blacks?

  3. olim

    02/01/2011 at 11:38 AM

    all i can say is yes!!! yess!!! love it, i have always felt like this. i joined the black student alliance way back in high school only once in order to try and change the lay out of the stupid black history month assembly. however i was bombarded by idiocy… in high school i took it upon myself to learn african history as a whole, and i'm nowhere near done, but at the time i wanted to teach them about REAL accomplishments. but nobody wanted to hear that there was MORE to black history than "who invented the stop light," "who invented hair relaxer," and i could not be a part of a production like that with a straight face so i lefft and never looked back…

  4. Independent Woman

    02/01/2011 at 12:13 PM

    It's a shame more black people don't know who James Forten & Sojourner Truth are…great Blacks who FOUGHT for abolishing slavery and womens rights.

  5. The_Mad_HATER

    02/01/2011 at 1:02 PM

    man i use to hate going to my all white school during black history month and see these white kids getting pissed because they have to actually acknowledge our achievements! dude we aint even have a choice in having to listen about your ancestors all day so shut the hell up!

  6. Kizzy

    02/01/2011 at 1:07 PM

    I LOVE Black History Month. I'm sorry, but I do want more history, but I can't turn my back on what we have. It would also be amazing to have 40 acres and a mule but I can't sit around broke waiting on that handout to come.

    We all should make the best out of what we have because the opposite is having nothing at all!

  7. Yahya, Ifagbemi

    02/01/2011 at 1:16 PM

    Until the day arrives when the accomplishments of black and brown people are routinely observed in the course of everyday education, it will be important to highlight these accomplishments. Our children ,unfortunately, don't receive enough information from their young parents who themselves are misguided and misinformed. Our children should be getting heir information at home and not relying on some outside group like schools and the media to tell us about the important and vital role we play / played in the development of world civilizations. Chinese children don't learn to be chinese in school. Arab children don.t learn to be Arab in school. Our people have to be responsible for our own self worth and not rely on someone else to give it to us.

  8. Alex Of Liveagl.com

    02/01/2011 at 1:22 PM

    “Did you know a BLACK man invented PEANUT BUTTER?” LMAO..

  9. melanie

    02/01/2011 at 1:25 PM

    Amazing post.. Black history month is in a sense brutalalized by the system.. It is a calculated reduction of our identity. Instead of having a place in *American History, we are compartamentalized into a month. Any type of reductive practice concerning humanity is brutal… The undermining of our culture has a protracted history..

  10. @TAARenaissance

    02/01/2011 at 2:05 PM

    I say this all the time about any particular holiday… instead of a month, I want o spend like a 2 year clip studying black history IN-DEPTH with love…

    Good effen post…!!!

  11. melanie

    02/01/2011 at 2:35 PM

    Just to add on… Black History Month reminds me of the World Fairs of the 18th and 19th century wherin Africans were displayed as exotic specimen.. We let ourselves continue to be displayed during this mont as a pose to being recognized and understood.. As stated my others in this thread other cultures focuse on the “freaky facts” of black culture .. “Oh did u know it was a black man that invented the stop light… I never would have knowN ” as if this fact really contributes the paradigm of blackness.. When people look at photographs of lynchings is it for educational purpose or is it out of interest …I see black history as a further objectification of blackness…we should celebrate our greatness daily ..

  12. MzDebbieFields

    02/01/2011 at 3:23 PM

    I've read posts like this before and I have to ask, what is it that black people specifically want, and what are you doing right now to get it?

  13. Flo King

    02/01/2011 at 5:40 PM

    Lord, here we go again Debbie…

  14. Shaun

    02/01/2011 at 5:59 PM

    AGREED!! But history is a LIE! Always written by the ruling persons to make themselves look great. Instead of petitioning for lame ass The Game, black Americans should br petitioning for school texts to be rewritten to actually reflect the true story.

  15. imakesense

    02/02/2011 at 1:03 PM

    "what PISSES me off and drives me INSANE about Black History Month is how our extremely intricately awe-inspiring past is broken down into Random Acts of Unimportant BS such as: “Did you know a BLACK man invented PEANUT BUTTER?” or “Did you know a BLACK man invented the traffic light?”

    Here’s the better question: Do I CARE who did that regardless of their race?"

    LMAOOOOO!

  16. @TeamAfro

    02/03/2011 at 5:45 PM

    This is a tough issue because of course any sensible person would want black history to be seamlessly woven into American History studies. We only have that to a limited degree, so what should we do? Not have black history month and have even less education about our past? Or do we as black voices online print something about our history so readers can learn what they don't learn in schools. I submit to you that this is a very valid post but use some of your posts this month (AND EVERY MONTH) to publish some black history that is not trivial that black folks and white people can see and appreciate.

  17. Amir

    01/06/2012 at 4:27 AM

    I do understand that our history should not be confined to a simple month and that it needs to be taught at home first and then all year at schools. The problem is that most of the Black parents do not know the history because it was not taught to them so at this present time, we need Black History Month. How many of us saw the movie Roots in the late 70's? Yet even though we know that our names come from the slave masters, there aren't many people who would name their children Kunta Kente. Having information is meaningless if it's not applied correctly. If that is how you feel about the month and I somewhat agree with you then we need our own schools period but until we get there, stop naming our children after our oppressors.

  18. deleted1101631

    02/01/2012 at 12:02 PM

    I just "shared" this post Linc on my FB. I think you nailed it right on the head. I've been saying this for years. I get even more frustrated as I notice more "black" commercials come on this month. Like all of a sudden it's ok to have black people in the McDonald's commercial and actually be played on Fox, CTV, or NBC as opposed to only BET JUST b/c it's Black History Month.

    History is History and if all of this happened in America and Canada, why do we get a jumbled month where we watch "Roots" as part of the curriculum in February? I remember my History teacher ( a blonde white woman) used to get just as upset during February as it was part of her agenda by the school board to focus on Black History Month and she ALSO believe it should be taught throughout the year. She used to get incredibly aggitated and riled up when our class would get into debates about the topic.

    It was cute to see her show some of us students a picture of her in the 70's protesting with her black boyfriend who she got disowned from her family for dating. And it was nice to have a teacher stand up for the same topic even though she wasn't a black woman.

  19. MistaHarsh

    02/01/2012 at 12:34 PM

    Can't believe I never commented on this before. I completely agree. When will people realize that its not black history its(in this case) American history and until its in the same books that include the stories of the "fore fathers" and taught year around it will continue to be a slap in the face.

    I knew something was wrong back in high school when the teacher set aside our history text books and gave us photocopied leaflets of paper to teach us about black history. I thought to myself why isn't it in the text book with the rest of historic events?

  20. Mimilove

    02/01/2012 at 12:53 PM

    The only thing that truly sets my teeth on fire about this month here is it brings out the inner Jim Crow in white people.

    It's about this time of year where I start hearing the "How come you all have a black student union?", politicians start getting loose with their speech, and now amongst a classroom of 200 hundred (3 of us black) the moment anything related to Black people is mentioned, people start side- eying me dissecting my character as if the very existence of my race all together is explained, exemplified, personified, defined, or characterized by me!

    Yes I'm black and I'm proud, but I was black in december and if I so live to see another year I'll be black then too but for these next 28 days, can I just live?

  21. Concrete_Rose

    02/01/2012 at 1:33 PM

    Understood. Its like here your month guys go crazy only time you will be recognized. Yes, black history should be intergrated in all curriculums instead of this ethnocentric approach which makes it so that in school you don't learn about a variety of cultures people and history. But I do not think we are doing an injustice to ourselves by celebrating this month and raising awareness of things. Unfortunately the people with the most power in our school institutions are typically not multicultural. This, it won't be in curriculums year round. I'm tired of hearing the same redundant things of African American history being taught. There's soooo much history. And the worst part is that within the black community it seems as though entertainers are bearing the weight of being leaders. What is that?! So yes, I think it's still important to make important what we want to make important.

  22. Bella

    02/01/2012 at 7:38 PM

    It takes the beginning of BHM to finally bring me out of my foxhole and put a comment on this site!

    Alright, I have to rant for a second. Lately, I've become quite cynical about being a young, black woman in Canada and have kept it to myself, but after reading today's article, I feel that what I'm about to say is warranted.

    It's February – Black History Month. Let's try to do something new this month instead of rattle off the same ol' names of inventors and such. It's cool to celebrate the past but, more than that, BECOME the trailblazer – others suffered, fought and DIED (in some cases very gruesomely – do your homework) so that you as a person of color could indiscriminately choose a path, excel in a discipline and exceed everyone's expectations! We won't be the last on this Earth, ok? There will be more generations to come. I don't know about y'all but I don't want someone to look back in history and skip over our time here because we were not exceptional!! Yes, the first African American president of the United States was elected a couple years back, but Obama isn't enough!! The most charismatic and influential Governor General in Canadian history was from Haiti, but celebrating the achievements of Michaelle Jean is NOT enough. Do you remember what happened in Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and Sudan last year??? Revolution in Africa lead to monumental change and we are here watching someone shuck and jive on a stage for our entertainment?? NAW!!

    Instead of the same ol' "BLACK HISTORY CULTURAL SHOW" (I must say though, who doesn't enjoy beat-boxing, rap and the passa passa dance routines?) why not celebrate youth achievement with more awards banquets or create a scholarship program for a local college? While I understand that promoters make their living from spamming my BBM with party invites, I would love to see more advertisements and invites to the aforementioned initiatives. In fact, who out there promotes EXCLUSIVELY for such events? Nobody? I guess there's no money in it, huh? Can't "Swag" out by putting together a scholarship fund to celebrate young black entrepreneurs and innovators, huh? Thought as much. Why not use this month to add something like this to your business plan, if you haven't already done so.

    I find myself sitting here and thinking "What have I done to contribute to BHM in the past? What can I do this year?" I have started by simply asking those questions. Rome wasn't built in a day, so I don't expect my ranting and raving to make a tsunami wave. In my opinion, I should either do better or not bother celebrating Black History Month at all. I think that this month should be used to celebrate achievements from the past YEAR and focus on making plans for the future, not just posting a different name and date their patent was approved for each of the 28 days. On the whole, I think we've lost sight of the purpose for BHM. I encourage y'all to take a moment and realize what will be the implications of abusing BHM.

    That's it for my ranting. Thanks for writing this, Lincoln!

  23. Whahapn

    02/02/2012 at 7:25 AM

    I think Black History Month was a well intentioned intiative which attempted to overcome the ignorance of our past that fueled notions of black inferiority and historical irrelevence in blacks themselves and in non-blacks.

    it's done exactly that.

    I think it's a positive development that we've now outgrown the idea that Black History can be can told in a single month of the year, and that we're now more likely to view Black History as the beginning of all human history and as something that is lived as much as studied.

    We're making Black History as we speak.

    We're now ready to expand Black History Month to- Black History Everyday.

  24. Cheryl

    02/02/2012 at 9:36 PM

    Good post!

  25. Trina

    02/03/2012 at 9:59 AM

    @ Debbie Fields plz go on YouTube and watch the videos titled White Woman Tells the Truth. Then MAYBE you will begin to be able to comprehend what this post is really talking about. Just understand if you can, that NO White person will EVER be able.to truly comprehend the perspective of a Black person…esp in America because you don't share our history and you arent subject to the injustices of our society simply based on color and yes prejudice STILL exists despite what the media/govt will try and have us think.

  26. n3rdybl4ckbo1

    02/06/2012 at 8:51 PM

    Sorry TIYC, even if celebrating black history month was as problematic as you claim, you are making a pretty big generalization. I think you need to go read the 'umbrella' article.

  27. Habubakah

    03/16/2012 at 11:55 PM

    Man, you people bitch about everything.lol

  28. Habubakah

    03/17/2012 at 12:25 AM

    I think al of you non-appreciative bown people need to go back to Africa and build yo own skools and then yawl can teach yo own children what yawl want all year long.

  29. All types of Commemorative and special occasion thimbles. Great selection.

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