I guess at this point, we are all basking in the gawd-awfulness that has been the month of February thus far. Chris Brown channeled his inner Goldy and showed Miss Ri Ri what happens when you get out of pocket, allegedly. DMX learned exactly how dark it really is when he was tossed into the hole with a pack of day old hamburger buns, a canteen and some state issued pink drawers. Suge Knight gets beaten up and sent to the hospital AGAIN. And Rick Ross took his war of gangsterism with 50 Cent way out into left field with the most creepy homoerotic cartoon I think I’ve ever seen. Scratch that. The only one I’ve ever seen and now I know why.
February has been loud and obnoxious. But if we lower the volume for just a moment, we can probably hear our ancestor’s praying for our drama hungry asses and asking for a bit of attention. Yes, we are going to take a brief respite from the shock theatre known as urban music and recognize Black History Month.
I recently read something, somewhere, sometime about the possibility of Black History Month being canceled considering we are all part of this post-racial America I keep hearing about. I find that term, post-racial, amusing in itself. Like I’m going to wake up tomorrow and American will be a race instead of a Nationality. But that’s neither here nor there. Nor is it a good explanation of what we should be moving towards.
Considering most people tend to be reminded of Black History Month when those George Washington Carver tribute commercials pop up between Cops Marathon episodes; I think the way we recognize the month needs the drop, not the celebration itself. Hearing about how lucky we are to have peanut butter (no salmonella) pales in comparison to the media tweaked vision of Black youth running amok in the inner cities for some, I’m sure. In that study of opposites, it’s likely the point of the 30-second history lesson will be lost during bathroom breaks and trips to the kitchen.
No disrespect to the usual suspects we are reminded of every year, but what about Black History Month, the Remix? It’s not a question of relevance, as knowing the first heart surgeon was a Black man will always be a signal to Black children that achievement at that level is possible. Why don’t we have a little forethought with our recollection though? Not only some reflection, but some creation as well? Figure out ways to remind ourselves that not only should we learn our history; we should be our history.
Save a dollar for everyday of the month. Go to your little cousin’s t-ball game instead of hanging out with your friends one Saturday. Plant a tree. You don’t think these small contributions are historic? That $27.00 could lead you to a path of retirement comfort. Your little cousin might continue to a college scholarship just because his favorite big cuz believed in him. And that tree might one day serve as the greatest tree house ever; not to mention could do its small part to kick out clean air for the inhabitants little lungs. Yes, every action we take as individuals is documented as our personal history. And all of those actions combined create community history.
There are so many things that define us as a group. And yes, I know many of you are not black. However, as Hip Hop continues to cross any and all lines of demarcation, the fans are adopted into the nation and exposed to everything that makes us us. That includes the past, present and future contributions of Black Americans; not only to Hip Hop, but to the world. So there you go. Get up. Get out and get something. Do something. Create something. Well, except more of those G-Unit work out cartoons. I don’t think I can take any more of those.