Archive for February, 2011|Monthly archive page

Each and Every Day

In Uncategorized on February 10, 2011 at 11:41 pm

I’ve never quite been a fan of Black History month. What we eventually end of doing is reducing a people’s achievement to factoids for 28 or sometimes 29 days. However, I do understand Carter G. Woodson’s desire to want to recognize a lost people, a forgotten and ignored history (Woodson is considered the father of Black History Month). Woodson’s hope would be that Black history would become America’s history, not a stand alone month where we “on this day in Black History…”

Mississippi SB 2718 in 2006 sought to integrate African American history into the K-12 core history curriculum. The Mississippi Civil Rights Education Commission’s is, according to Dr. Ollye Shirley a civil rights pioneer in her own right, “an important project because all of the children in this state, especially African-American children, need to learn about the contributions of all people. We have all played an important role in the development of this country.”

McDonald’s, KFC, and BET have been some businesses to adopt the moniker that Black History is 365. African American history is year round; African American history is not just Black history, it is OUR history, flowing through the veins of America’s history. African American history is not one man, one movement, it consists of the academic, the blue-collar worker, the man, the woman, children, some we know, some we do not. Woodson did not want “Negro History Week” to be the only time we commit to educating the present generation about the past, it was to be the starting point to bringing this rich, dynamic, diverse culture and history to the fore. Now we must continue to not recognize February as the stand alone month for Black History, but understand and appreciate each other through our past, each and every day.


“I’ve Done My Job”

In Uncategorized on February 3, 2011 at 1:38 am

“Dear Friends,

Every year over 1 million people commit SUICIDE. Some were BULLIED because of their SEXUALITY. I lost a friend to SUICIDE, and I’m asking all of you to support alternative lifestyles. Don’t put up with or join in with BULLYING. It’s time we become more aware in this WORLD. Take responsibility to make a difference. So if my MUSIC can save one life, I’ve done my job…”

Those are the concluding remarks to singer Marsha Ambrosius’ Far Away video. In the video, we follow the trials and challenges of two same loving men. These men, for all intents and purposes, are handsome, and would fit the bill of strong, hopefully eligible African American men. Stewart Shaw, manager of the African American center at the San Francisco public library says that “internal homophobia is still pretty large in the black gay community.”

In Schenectady, NY, a nonprofit organization wanted to promote a sense of pride in African American homosexual couples. “The Albany-based group In our Own Voices says it sponsored the ad campaign to combat the stigma and homophobia of being a black, gay man. There are now 18 of the billboards in the capital region, plus many smaller ads on bus shelters.”

According to Census data, the South–in particularly, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas– “are more likely to be raising children than their counterparts on the West Coast, in New York and in New England.” Bob Witeck, Chief Executive of Witeck-Combs Communications stated that “We’re starting to see that the gay community is very diverse. We’re not all rich white guys.” UCLA demographer Gary Gates notes that African Americans and Latinos homosexual couples are two times as likely to raise children as whites.

And so, for those who remain invisible, bullied, or even contemplated suicide, we cannot ignore it any longer. As Ambrosius so bodly challenged: “Take responsibility to make a difference.” We are different, and I dare to say by design…it is through these differences that we all dare to dream and learn from the other. I learned from my neighbors, I learned from my friends, I learned from my family, and so I continue to learn from those who do not necessarily look like me or even lead a life that is far different than what I was told was “right.” I thank you neighbors, I thank you friends, and hopefully, I’ve too done my job–and continually will do my job.