“If you do not know what was; you cannot understand what is and you are therefore ill-prepared for what is yet to come. Wise people study history because it is cyclical in nature. For history is the recorded deeds of men and women and nations as they struggle with impediments in our evolutionary march towards the absolute.” –Minister Louis Farrakhan, of the Nation of Islam at the Malcolm X lecture.
“To study history means to search for and discover the forces that are the causes of those results which appear before our eyes as historical events. The art of reading and studying consists in remembering the essentials and forgetting what is not essential.”–Adolf Hitler, in Mein Kampf.
Black History Month (#BHM), initially was just ‘Negro History Week’ which started around 1926 by the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History’ lead by Historian Carter G. Woodson and Minister Jesse E. Moorland and due to its popularity and the abundance of black excellence that needs to be celebrated, it has since been extended to four weeks. Nubian consciousness remains year-long though, the work for the melanin kings and queens, children of the sun, daughters and sons of the soil, is not February exclusive. The month was chosen strategically to coincide with the birthdays of, the 16th President of the United States of Amerikkka* whose hero-worship is of a ridiculously hyperbolic echelon for abolishing slavery, although very little to none is known about the underlying socio-political and economic pressures of the time, Abraham Lincoln on February 12 and Brother Man, Frederick Augustus Bailey, the surname ‘Douglass’ he picked up later in his life and dropped his two middle names. Douglass’ exact date of birth is unknown but he chose February 14th to celebrate it as his own.
Frederick Douglass, an esteemed author and editor, an abolitionist, diplomat and suffragist, a former slave. A well-spoken orator whose words echoed in walls where white whispers uttered sentiments of slaves lacking cognitive ability, both intellect and intelligence, to live as independent Amerikkkan citizens. A living contradiction and a counter argument to the highly prejudicial and stereotypical notion aforementioned. Douglass is famously quoted, having addressed his point-of-departure, by saying, “I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong.”
This month is made to save the bright minds of black learners by taking the responsibility of teaching young kings and queens about the great work of the forefathers, the knowledge and progress accomplished by their ancestors and general black history that is ‘diluted’ in school curricula. The birthdays of key figures and general events which happened in this month are reviewed and revised. The contributions and achievements are duly recognised and praised accordingly. Black Excellence! Canada observes #BHM in February as well, whilst the United Kingdom sets aside October for commemorating the original people and their history. This is important to note that the Afrikan diaspora is only officially given an allocated period of time in only three regions of the whole world. The fact that black people are the minority in these nations is another fact to note.
AmeriKKKan actress, the black queen Stacey Dash, recently shared her controversial sentiments when questioned about the lack of diversity (read: the continued marginalization of black kings and queens in the fields of performing arts in racist AmeriKKKa) with the nominees of the Academy Awards (The Oscars). Her response was an internet-craze-causing one. She said, “I think it’s ludicrous. We have to make up our mind; either we want to have segregation or integration.” She also added that, “If we don’t want segregation, then we need to get rid of channels like BET (Black Entertainment Television, and the (N.A.A.C.P. – National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People) Image Awards, where you’re only awarded if you are black. If it were the other way around, we would be up in arms. It’s a double standard […] just like there shouldn’t be a Black History Month. We are American. That’s it.” Her sentiments were similar to those of the king Morgan Freeman, ten years after, who said that black American history is mutually exclusive from Amerikkan history in general, in fact an integral part, as slaves were brought from the beautiful continent of Afrika to build AmeriKKKa and so they did. Exploited, beaten, striped of humanity, identities stolen, raped and ultimately hanged in the process. And so the rhetoric about the need for #BHM needs to be addressed, and no time is better than the present.
From the onset I must state that I fully disagree with this motion of bringing #BHM to an end. It, like all activist campaigns, can be revisited and improved where needs be. To say it is petrol to the segregation fire is foolish. Explore this analogy: to obtain equilibrium with a see-saw, you ought to add to the lightest side to balance it with the heavy laden end.
People of colour were side-lined for the longest time from performing let alone being awarded in the arts sphere. There is much strength in numbers, so the cultural and populous minority came together to celebrate black excellence. Now the people of the Oscars have and continued to establish themselves as culturally exclusive for Caucasian folk and not for the most deserving individual or production. #OscarsSoWhite! #OscarsSoWhite! So long as anti-black exists, whether subtle or not, implicit or explicit, the antidote which is PRO-BLACKism will continue indefinitely and unapologetically. #BlackLivesMatter #BlackLivesMatter #BlackLivesMatter, ALRIGHT!
Black History Month stands to document stories, as the Khoi and the San people did with recorded timelines inside caves on rock. We are mortal creatures in our creation so to pass down the knowledge to the young is paramount. It serves as the only manner in which to immortalize ourselves, or risk losing the battle against the cultural vultures that aim to wipe us off the planet, and distort every bit of history. Although they might shoot us, unarmed; refer us by derogatory terms, unprovoked and continue to inhabit the land of our people, rent-free, they cannot gun-down our spirits nor can their weak words ever harm our minds and never, ever will our fighting fire that lives within us ever be colonialized or white-washed. NEVER. #WeWantOurLandBack #WeDemandOurLandBack …………..OR ELSE…
“If a race has no history, it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in the danger of being exterminated. The American Indian left no continuous record. He did not appreciate the value of tradition and where is he today? The Hebrew keenly appreciated the value of tradition, as it attested by the Bible itself. In spite of worldwide persecution, therefore, he is a great factor in our civilisation.” – CarterG. Woodson. (Preach Brother Man! Preach BlackMan!)
With the teaching of history of the oldest members of the human race, we must come to realise that the most part of the curriculum in traditional educational institutions, such as high schools and universities, is filled with half-truths and advancements of theories that undermine and harbour inferiority-tagging of people by race. Scientology, for example, believes that the pyramids, architecture of the highest mathematical height, in Egypt (Egypt means, the land of Blacks), and Mexico were constructed by aliens. An assumption based on the cracked foundation that the black king and queen in Afrika could not have been so scientifically inclined to construct such perfection. An inferiority complex perpetuated that the melaninaires can only, tippy-toed, touch the sky like they didn’t hang the stars and the moon in the second heaven.
Black history begins not with slavery, but with creation. We are the we they speak of in the beginning. 400 years and more of injustice- hate fuelled by racism, inequality, and sheer devilish deeds exercised on the Black Man, Black Woman and their seeds afflicted by fellow man, of inhuman and inhumane nature. We acknowledge what happened, forgive but never forget, and now raise levels of consciousness to better ourselves. Ignorance is divorced; holy matrimony with knowledge. In speaking bitter truths and in patronising fellow black man. We do!
Documentation of today, which consequently becomes history (whether significant or not) is of the essence. It has been since time. The storyteller run the world. History is retold and rewritten to suit the current powers in position of authority (of course, true power lies with THE PEOPLE). We can no longer afford to rely solely on oral teachings when the mother tongue is bit of daily by Euro-centric languages, point-in-case: this article. We must encourage the writing and publishing books, journals and others alike- physically foremost and as the 21st century would have, digitally. The reading of works by our own is of course customary. Not only to ourselves but to our peers and our families before bed. Don’t sleep on this advice. DON’T!
Sophiatown. Sof’town. Kofifi. The black suburb that was cut short whilst enjoying its finest hour. One of the oldest black areas in Johannesburg, Azania (also known as South Afrika). The epicentre of politics, literatures, jazz & blues music, and fine artistry. It was the place to be during the 1940s and the 1950s. It was originally a farm on the outskirts of the city. It was owned by Hermann Tobiansky, who had a wife named Sophia whom it was named after. Subsequently it was a place for pale faces only. After some time, the distance from the central business district was deemed strenuous and later, when a sewage plant was built nearby, the whites left. With their departure, allowing a colourful multi-racial and vibrant multi-lingual community behind of Black, Coloureds, Indians and Chinese.
As the people of colour became numerous in the cities, Johannesburg City Council approved ‘Slum Clearance programmes’ with the sole aim of removing Black people from the inner city and starve them of their livelihoods and homes. The pro-apartheid National Party pulled the strings of the puppet-like council. The Native Resettlement Act, no. 19 of 1954 was passed by the above killers. 9TH of February, Sophiatown met her demise. 60 000 people displaced of their places of shelter, their warm homes, their community. The security police of 2000 in number, armed with handguns, rifles and knobkerries. Meadowlands, which formed part of Soweto, was to be the destination of those forcefully removed. The blacks that is. The separation was thorough. Coloured people shoved into Eldorado Park in the south of the city; the Indians to Lenasia; and the Chinese to the central part of the city. Eight years later, Sophiatown was removed from maps of the city as it had been flattened to just mere land where once a people lived and thrived. A place where once blacks were allowed to own their own land. A rare lifestyle at the time. An unorthodox scene where some freedom existed and ambition was thick in the air. A people bound together like fibres of one being, in total synergy, from the shebeens where mbaqanga music was performed and a place where politics would be debated and daily worries laughed about to the disappearing-point-of-oblivion. The poverty that also languished here due to opportunity restriction and chained movements in the City of Gold, gangsters and crime was as present as it always is in urban areas, unfortunately.
Maybe a case of crabs-in-a-barrel-syndrome, yet we neglect that the barrel is not the natural environment of the crab.
Today is the day John Sweat Rock, became the first Black lawyer in Amerikkka to practise before the U.S. Supreme Court and the first Black Person to speak before the U.S. House of Representatives.
Langston Hughes, of the Harlem Renaissance, a poet with fifteen poetry collections, two autobiographies and seven collections of short stories and some juvenile books and translations.
Today, in 1997, BET Holdings and Encore Media Corporation launched BET Movie/Starz, the first 24 hour Black Movie channel.
The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which abolished slavery was passed.
Upwards & Onwards Your humble Brother
…in my humble opinion #NuBlaccSoUl