I Hate Black History Month


Illustration by Juana Martinez

In this illustration by Juana Martinez, two African-Americans are shown attached to tubes that lead to a Tv. The illustration shows two African-Americans having their insides sucked into the Tv. Showing how corporations and the media take advantage of black culture and history for their own greedy purposes.

Black History Month is over and it should’ve never existed in the first place. 

I love the original idea of having a month dedicated to African-Americans and all of their accomplishments. But I can’t help but notice that this has become the month where people dress up and put on costumes pretending to care about African Americans, as well as market the month to make money off of it producing various products to bring “change and awareness,” when in reality they are profiting off of the month made to celebrate African-American people.

Various corporations like Nike, Target and Coca-Cola have been “spreading awareness” on the month by advertising their new products from dolls to clothing. For instance, Target has been bringing change by making Rosa Parks dolls and selling them. 

Now, are they spreading awareness for who Rosa Parks is? Yes. I have no problem with that, my problem lies within the fact that they are charging $30 for this doll when the regular price for a Barbie doll at Target is anywhere from $15 to $20. So, they raised the price of the doll that actually has a lot of history behind it in the month where this history is supposed to be being spread. 

I would expect this doll to be on sale as they want to spread change as much as possible, but instead, they raised the price by almost $15 dollars. To me, this draws the conclusion that they don’t really care about spreading awareness, they really only care about making money. 

Last year, Google celebrated Black History Month the right way through their “most searched” commercial. This isn’t advertising anything besides Google which is free to use. The commercial shows some of the most historical black figures of current-day society and the past. See, this is spreading awareness without marketing a product, Google used its platform to spread awareness without being greedy like some other corporations.

The funny thing is this “awareness” only lasts for a month. After February, African-American awareness is dropped and forgotten by these corporations. This spread of awareness is only sold for a limited amount of time while it was popular. The main reason African-Americans have been talked about at all this year is because of all the injustices being showcased by the media. 

Since these injustices have occurred, a lot of white people have been speaking out on these types of matters. Now I just find it funny how all of these people care all of a sudden after their Black friends were posting about the various social injustices taking place. It is almost like they were pressured into caring about Black oppression in America. 

Now, how does this relate to Black History Month? To put it simply, some white people, not all white people, don’t truly care about Black people and are only pretending to care because it is the popular thing to do. After this month they won’t say another word about it, that is until the next big event happens that causes them to be pressured back into supporting African-Americans. 

See this month shouldn’t have to exist at all, Black history should be talked about continuously just like we talk about the racist— I mean founding fathers of our land. Or just how we talk about Genghis Khan or Alexander the Great, we should talk about Malcolm X or George Washington Carver. I don’t mean for one month, I mean continuously in mandatory classes like World History and U.S. history. 

That also doesn’t mean having a separate class talking about it as an elective. No, African-American history needs to be referenced and talked about just as much as all the other malarky we are taught in school. 

Black history is American history, and even a little bit more than that, so let’s acknowledge Guion Stewart Bluford Jr. and James Baldwin. African-Americans that have made great impacts on society let’s make it normal to know Black history just as normal as it is to know the National Anthem or even the pledge of allegiance.

You are basically spitting in my face by telling me that my ancestors, after years of oppression, get 28 lousy days as reparation. This month means nothing to me as I always make sure to research, talk about and reference my black predecessors as much as possible.

So, Black History Month is every month and there should be no ifs, ands or buts about it. If we can sit and teach about white men that beat, raped and murdered people then took those same people’s land, then we can spare some time to talk about the people who built this land with their own bare hands. 

We need to talk about the people who even after building this same land are still oppressed in it. We need to talk about the people who even though they are the minority in this wretched land they still are making contributions to it day by day. 

I don’t accept the shortest month of the year as reparations for all the pain and trauma my people have been through. With that being said forget Black History month. To me, my people’s history is important every day, and I don’t need to be paid, pressured or forced by anybody to speak about it.