We’re only a third of the way through the month, but it’s feeling like February 2016 will go down as the proudest, loudest, most-visibly unapologetic celebration of Black History Month ever. And, that is just awesome.
For all of my life, Black History Month has been the time of year kids read King’s, “I Have A Dream” speech in school pageants and corporations release PSA and commercials featuring Black people, that mysteriously disappear on March 1. Maybe Roots, Queen or Malcolm X would air on television or a company would sponsor a free museum day to an African exhibit, but to me, the month never quite lived up to the potential Carter G. Woodson envisioned when he created Negro History Week 90 years ago.
But, this Black History month feels different. It feels, “unapologetically Black.”
I don’t just feel it. I see it. I’m experiencing it and it feels so good to have Black people proudly honor our history, recognize our legacy, celebrate our accomplishments and boldly demand our place in the future.
All I can say is, I am here for it.
From Black Lives Matter activists running for political office, to Chris Rock speaking truth of the plight of Black actresses in Hollywood, to Debbie Allen teaching African dance to little Black girls at the White House, to scores of Black people not allowing Flint to be swept under the rug, to Beyoncé proclaiming her Blackness to America and then paying homage to the Black Panther Party during the Super Bowl halftime show to Jay Z Tidal donating $1.5 million to Black Lives Matter and to Awesomely Luvvie reminding everyone that “we are not supposed to be in this world just so that people can digest us easier;” I am here for it this February. ALL OF IT. I applaud it and I am thankful for it.
There’s been a tide shift in Black America that is awaking the consciousness, empathy and in some unfortunate cases, the fear and anger of the privileged in our country at a speed never before witnessed. Technology has a lot to do with it. And, a generation of Blacks who are tired of waiting and tired of being told to mute or switch off their Blackness, has mastered that technology.
Yes, February 2016, feels like the Blackest, Black History Month ever thanks to all the people showcasing positive Blackness in all its glory (my social newsfeeds are too beautiful for words right now). But, what excites me is the fact that they’ll we’ll still here and Black on March 1 and April 1 and God willing in February 2017 and beyond.
Black History Month 2016, isn’t the start or even the spark. This all started long ago, way before even 1926. But, for the first time, I feel like we are standing together to celebrate who we are while also announcing that we won’t let the world limit who we will be. And, that is making this month pretty magical.
-Charell Star | Not Just A Girl In A Dress