We’re halfway through Black History Month (BHM), and I feel like asking my white friends to lend me their Karen energy because I’d like to talk to the manager about a comeback.
I commissioned this BHM to celebrate the contributions of black people to the culture, arts, politics, and service of the United States and the North American continent. Instead, we received marginalization, erasureAnd lack of respect of these same accomplishments. I’m not saying we should have a bonus month to make up for that. But don’t you feel like someone (white) should be fired for this?
On the lighter but more egregious end of the scale, let’s talk about Beyoncé’s epic snub for Grammy Artist of the Year. Winner Harry Styles topped the shitty sundae of this embarrassment with a cherry of oblivious self-esteem when he said that “people like me” generally do not receive these awards. Sir, you’re a white cishetero male and — any intentional offense — you were three years old when Beyoncé signed her first recording contract.
It was outrageous. It was degrading. It was patently offensive to ignore a one-album masterpiece that revived and modernized a musical style created and defined by marginalized people after a quarter-century career of absolute bangers. only. time.
It’s not just that I’m a Beyoncé stan (but what else could one be). It is the refusal to recognize how powerful, impactful and incredible she is as an artist because she is a black woman supported first and foremost by black women.
But, okay, that’s just culturally disrespectful. Thus, Beyoncé is not receiving a justly deserved award that implies she will never be good enough to conquer the white establishment. It still sells stadiums and take our rent money and ensure a meaningful legacy through his art. It’s not enough to throw away the whole month, is it? It’s not like black history is being actively erased, is it?
In Florida, weeping pustule and Gov. Ron DeSantis effectively suppressed Black History teaching in his state via the Hell Stop WOKE Act — with repercussions nationwide.
In Florida, teachers are terrified to share even basic facts about the long, centuries-long history of racial oppression in this country, whether it’s the basics of chattel slavery or the widely documented reality of the segregation. But leaving the state’s children uneducated wasn’t enough for DeSantis, who coordinated with the College Board to gut the proposed AP African American History course that will be offered to students across the county. Gone are black queer theorists and thinkers; gone are the titans of racial self-reflection. Instead, I suppose black students can learn that their ancestors were happy and noble under oppressive regimes – if they are even mentioned.
There is something deeply perverse about preventing black speakers and scholars from telling our own stories in our own words during the time specifically set aside for that purpose. These are the only four weeks in the calendar when black people are allowed to take their place in a society that generally demands our invisibility. This temporary presence in discourse – on our terms, in our voices – was instrumental in creating the progress that enabled black people to fight for abolition, endure the horrors of Reconstruction and Jim Crow. , to defend our civil rights and to reshape American politics by being the driving force behind the first black man to hold the presidency. Losing access to our moment to speak and express ourselves will not only undo what black people have already done, but what we still yearn for.
This is where I have to enter the heaviest and most heartbreaking event to score this month: Tire Nichols funeral.
The darkest parts of black history – the fear, the uncertainty, the deprivation, the blatant and terrifying disregard for our humanity – are not part of the story. It’s still ongoing.
As Tire and other new names are added to the painful litany, the significance of Black History Month comes back into focus. As we come together to commemorate Tire Nichols – his hopes, his dreams, his kindness, his impact, and all those left behind – we are reminded that we still have work to do. And not just black people. All of us still have work to do to make black people feel safe and cherished, loved and revered, respected and free.
This is Black History Month I asked for: a month when we do the work to make this nation a better place for black people — by extension, everyone else.
So, to be clear, you both have two weeks to resolve this issue. And if you don’t know where to start dismantling age-old structural racism and violent, pervasive anti-darkness…. Well, getting Renaissance World Tour tickets for your black friends isn’t a bad start. (You can always find me @gothamgirlblueto be clear.)
Know too much, think more. Has endless space in his heart for tea and breakfast for dinner. Really from New York, so always ready to cut a female dog.