Black History Month has Become a Joke: No One’s Laughing


Black History Month, the one time of year meant to celebrate and acknowledge black excellence, has officially become a joke. 

The supposed celebratory month has shifted from being meant to promote and embrace black empowerment to people using it to exploit generations of trauma for quick laughs or attention. 

The fact that the African American community was given the shortest month of the year to be celebrated is nothing short of a low blow. The community is, yet again, being forced to accept the bare minimum. Considering this, every single day of the month should count and be more honorable, but alas, it’s not. 

The entire month has grown to be full of distasteful memes and satirical jokes, most of them stemming from the controversial app that everyone is most likely familiar with, TikTok. Ah yes, Tik Tok, the root of most problems.

The amount of uncomfortable Tik Tok videos going viral this month is absurd. These videos range from black people being bowed down to by their white friends to interracial families shunning their white counterparts out of the video because it’s BHM (Black History Month). This is just embarrassing. 

Not to mention, if you are of mixed race, apparently the entirety of Black History Month is not for you. Consistent jabs have been made at the biracial community, stating that they only get to celebrate half of the month; does that not therefore invalidate their blackness? Just because people are of mixed race that negates their ability to take pride in their black side during a month devoted to that? The point of this month is not to be exclusive, it’s meant to be inclusive. Doing such a thing goes against the exact purpose of the month. 

It’s unbelievably frustrating to see jokes online as well as at school surrounding reparations and struggles of the past through careless quips like: “where’s my money?” and “you can’t say that to me, it’s Black History Month.”

To joke about something that is actually due to African Americans that other races were given when faced with other injustices, is just plain insensitive. 

It is not something to joke about, but something to fight for. Though, it shouldn’t have to be something that needs to be fought for, it should have already been given.

Begging your white friends for money during the month of February feels like a mockery of

what is owed to the black community.

Now, while these things can be quite humorous, it seems more like it’s poking fun at the struggle that was slavery and the discrimination and damage that followed it.

These jokes do an injustice to the ancestors who spent over 400 hundred years in slavery hoping for the freedom that is still being fought for on an everyday basis today. Not to mention the plethora of activists who battled against suppression, all for that to be overshadowed through childish humor. Society tends to dwell on the horrors and setbacks relevant in the black community. While it is of course important to be aware of history and acknowledge the bad aspects, it’s nice to be able to take a step back and focus on the beauty of things every once in a while, which is entirely the point of Black History Month.

Lately, black excellence has been praised more than ever in pop culture, music, fashion and so much more. Why can’t those be the kinds of things talked about during the month?

We, as a society, need to take a moment to reflect on what the actual purpose of Black History Month is. Perhaps then, we can actually do it justice.