Black History Month. The shortest month of the year dedicated to one of the most hated, often imitated and influential races on the planet. In the past, this has been celebrated profusely and with much excitement within the black community, but this year it is about more than that.
The murders and mistreatment of black people throughout this country's history has never gone ignored by black people, but it is often ignored by others or we are told that our oppression happened in the past so "get over it". This year makes all the difference in that we refuse to be silenced anymore.
Since Trump's inauguration in 2017, Black History Month has not been something as nationally recognized as usual, but with President Biden currently stepping up as the leader of the "free" world he put that to a stop as soon as possible by releasing a brief on February 3rd which addresses how important this month is and what can be done as a country so that we no longer suffer.
In addition to the President's statement, the release of the movie "Judas and the Black Messiah" about the late Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, and the events leading up to his death, occurred this month. This has really set the tone for the community. While this movie was well crafted, shed a light on more black history and the target that we have on our back as a race, many had several problems with the timing of its release.
It was more than likely a harmless marketing move, but individuals everywhere want to know why is it that black people can only get these types of movies during black history month? Why is the truth of what is happening to us so concealed? That then brings up other discussions such as; Why is the celebration of such an influential culture hardly even celebrated other than during this month? Companies, shows, and the media all take part in recognizing the event, but since it is shared with Valentine's Day it can often take a back seat.
The month is actually an upgrade for us considering Black History Month started off as Negro History Week in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson. He chose February since two leaders that had incomparable positive influences on black people have birthdays in this month. Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass are both largely celebrated respectively for their help in the freedom of black people and that largely persuaded Woodson's decision.
"Judas and the Black Messiah" has shown us that our fight is not over and as long as there is that passion and drive within us and for the people, there will always be a reckoning force to take us down and probably a couple Judases along the way to help them. It is not discouragement, it is motivation.
Happy Black History Month!