Musings of Black History Month (and other things on my mind)
As this year's edition of African American History month is starting to wind down, I can't help but wonder about a few things such as...
Why is the month set aside for celebrating the achievements of Black people of African American descent in this country the shortest month - and even that's an improvement, as it was originally a week before it switched to a month by (I think) the end of the 1960s - I know that lots of folks have asked that question, but it's a legitemate thing to ponder, don't you think?
Why during this month, and any other time that schools focus on blacks in their curriculum, practically the only things that are covered are George Washington Carver and how he did so many things with peanuts, including inventing peanut butter, Harriet Tubman, and Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" speech, and (nowadays) the fact that our President is of African descent, when there are so many other important topics pertaining to African Americans and how they essentially built this country.
As a matter of fact, why can't every month be not only Black History month, but also Latino History Month, Women's History Month, Asian History Month, Native American History Month, and even Gay History Month; as they are considered (at least by me) to be the U.S's last oppressed minority - same sex marriage wouldn't be an issue if they weren't, as every state would allow folks of the same sex to marry - it would be extremely beneficial to learn about things like the Stonewall Riots in New York City in 1969 and how the AIDS epidemic came about.
Setting aside different months for these ethnic and gender groups, I feel, lessens them and says that outside of the month set aside for them, they don't really matter too much.
At least, that's how I see it.
One other thing that's been on my mind this month is of a prominent African American that we lost recently, one of the most prominent folks of African descent in the last 30 years: Whitney Houston.
I won't lie: as talented as Whitney and her voice was, I honestly wasn't a fan of her music, not because of any personal animosity towards her, but rather that her brand of pop music just wasn't my cup of tea.
In fact, I remember when "Saving All My Love For You" first came out; I recall liking Sade, a British comtemporary of hers, and her music a lot better - just my personal preference, I guess.
However, that didn't make me feel any less sad upon hearing of her passing, particularly when one considers that although autopsy results are pending and I'm not accusing Whitney of anything, my suspicions are that she accidentally overdosed on prescription drugs.
When it was reported that she was in rehab three times, that particularly turned the light on for me, and led to the opinion that this star performer died of addiction, which is very, very sad - I don't think I'm saying anything that's not obvious when I say that at age 48, she left us far too soon.
I'm saddest of all for Whitney's daughter, Bobbi Kristina, as she is now without a mother and is, by all accounts, struggling with it all, as many of us would be.
Two things come to mind as far as the bottom line here:
1. DON'T EVER, EVER DO DRUGS, NOT EVEN ONCE! PLEASE!!
2. Rest in peace, Whitney. At least two or three billion of your fans will miss you dearly.