While some choose to view Black History Month as a celebration of Black achievements, Dead Prez member M-1 has released a statement denouncing it and urging Black people to speak out against inequality all year round.
"I think the concept of Black History Month is insulting and offensive to all people of African descent," M-1 stated. "It seems like a measly, meaningless offer from the parasitic and capitalistic system that has amassed an empire of wealth from our worldwide community."
A known political activist, M-1 (a.k.a. Mutulu Olugabala) serves as local president of the Brooklyn Chapter of the National Peoples Democratic Uhuru Movement and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement.
The rapper has also supported Friends and Family of Mumia-Abu Jamal, the Hands Off Assata organization, and participates in the annual Black August celebration in New York.
"Instead of offering us 28 days in February, we should be awarded reparations as this so-called Black History Month doesn't include any agenda to lift oppression from Black life i.e. war on drugs, taxes, awful healthcare conditions, and economic disparity," said M-1. "Further, the actual name of this 'sacred' month is damaging propaganda in [and] of itself."
M-1 also referred to his new music video for "Til We Get There," which depicts a group of neighborhood kids replacing the words "Black History Month" on a mural with "African History Year."
"As my partner Sticman would say, we should call it Crack History Month because of the damage that has been done to our community," the rapper added. "I propose a ban on the term 'Black History Month' because it doesn't identify the land mass and the people that produced everything that we know as culture today."
M-1's solo debut, Confidential, is due in stores March 21.