Black History Month is an egregious assault against American Blacks, tantamount to the attempt to establish “ebonics” as Black language; and it does more to demean them than affirmative action.
Ancestry notwithstanding, Blacks in America have no history independent of American history, therefore its relevance requires the context of American history. Failure to appreciate the symbiosis between Black and American history is the reason many Blacks cannot apprehend their place in America.
Ironically, so-called Black leaders have a vested interest in ensuring Blacks never assimilate into America; and to that end Black History Month is a means to oppress Blacks with a distorted narrative; and perpetuate racial animosity in America.
Jackie Robinson did not prove that Blacks could play major league baseball as well, if not better, than whites. He proved that Jackie Robinson could play major league baseball as well as, if not better, than any player in the league; race notwithstanding. The Brooklyn Dodgers manager attested to this fact when he informed his white players that he would sooner trade one of them than trade Robinson. Robinson was not recognized as the most valuable Black or Negro player in the national league; he was recognized as the Most Valuable Player (MPV), period.
Jesse Owens did not prove that Blacks could win multiple Olympic gold medals and set world records; he proved that Jesse Owens could win multiple Olympic gold medals and set world records.
Serena Williams and Oprah Winfrey are not regarded as best in Black; but Best in Class; but the magnitude and implications of their accomplishments are lost in the context of Black history.
Relegating people like Robinson,Owens, Winfrey, Williams, etc., to “Black History” demeans them as Americans; diminishes the significance of their accomplishments, and it precludes Blacks from fully appreciating the relevance of their accomplishments in the context of American history.
If Black History Month espoused the narrative that Robinson, Owens and others, earned world recognition for their abilities without affirmative action, the NAACP, the ALCU, a Civil Rights Act or the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), it might foster the tenet that race is an impediment to achieving one’s goals only if one allows it to be.
If Black History Month emphasized the regression implied by the fact that Robinson and Owens excelled despite their race and decades later America has a president elected solely because of his race, Blacks might finally concede that Blacks can be, and indeed many are, racists; and realize the futility of trying to construct a separate but equal Black America.
Black History Month should propagate the narrative that Blacks are not monolithic and there is no “Black experience” common to all Blacks in America. Some people, regardless of race, choose to succeed despite their circumstances; others choose to use their circumstances as an excuse not to try.
Subsets are necessarily inferior to the set; so that Black history, as a subset of American History, is inherently inferior. The fact that Black American History is inferior to American History tethers Blacks to the implication they are inherently inferior unless and until white Americans are forced, by the government, to perceive them otherwise; hence the perceived need for “Black leaders”.
Black History Month should advise Blacks who complain; that “they” (whites) take Black fashion, slang, music, rap, etc., and make it theirs; to take their (whites) English, math and science and make it their (Blacks) own; but it does not.
Stacey Dash should be applauded for proposing the abolition of Black History Month; opting instead for the incorporation of Black History into American History. Conversely, Jada Pinkett should be admonished for proposing affirmative action for the Academy Awards.
Being the “first Black” is a qualified distinction; inferior to being the “first”. The next best thing to being first is not being the first Black; rather it is being the “best”. Barack Obama is the “first Black” President of the United States but he is far from being the best. In fact he is perceived as an abysmal disappointment by many Blacks and whites alike.
He had an opportunity to be the best but his political ambitions for a second term garnered too many enemies in his first term to be effective in either term. You only get one chance to make a first impression; and he failed to impress.
Notwithstanding, many Blacks regard him as “their” president; Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday as “their” holiday; and Black History Month as “their” showcase.
Until Blacks break their tether to the notion of Black history and endeavor to make American History, they will never realize true equality in America.