Habari gani. On behalf of my friend, wife and companion in all things good and beautiful, Tiamoyo; the advocates and members of our organization, Us, the African American Cultural Center, and the National Association of Kawaida Organizations; Dr. Segun Shabaka, chair of New York NAKO…
To talk of Harriet Tubman is to speak of one of those special persons who serve as sacred sources and cultural anchors of our expansive self-understanding and whose lives are the precious and heavy metal and material out of which history and hope are hammered. In this month of remembrance and special honor of our foremothers, Black History Month II—Women Focus, let us pay rightful hommage to her on March 10, her Day of Remembrance set aside by our shared home state of Maryland.
As we mark this year’s Black History Month II: Women Focus, we will again pay rightful homage to the pioneers, heroines, and way-makers who made ways out of no- way, who opened up ways for so many others, breaking down barriers, crossing boundaries, creating and increasing opportunities for women and girls, and others marginalized and excluded, and making great sacrifices and strides in the service of women, our people and humankind.
No matter what we think, say or write about the movie Red Tails, about its message, meaning, worthiness or weight, the discussion is ultimately and unavoidably about us, about how we perceive and understand ourselves, what we accept as real and rightful representations of us, and how we read and relate to the historical and current lived experience and initiatives of our lives in the context of both oppression and “constrained freedom.”
As we marked this National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, we could not avoid noticing that the issue of HIV/AIDS has become less urgent on the country’s agenda, that one of the once most vocal and active racial groups now has sufficient government monies, medicines and means to move on to advocate for other things, while real and potential Black victims are left to fend for themselves and make do or die on the remaining meager resources. For this is the way power and race work in this country and the world, in spite of self-deluding post-racial prattle and misconceptions about negotiation instead of struggle, and transactional trade without the power of an engaged people.
“>The relevance of Black History Month is not determined by our debatable changed or changing position in American society, nor by unfounded assumptions that diversity is divisive, and that in the interest of unity we must sacrifice or forego our own unique cultural contribution to how this society is reconceived and reconstructed.
The relevance of Black History Month is not determined by our debatable changed or changing position in American society, nor by unfounded assumptions that diversity is divisive, and that in the interest of unity we must sacrifice or forego our own unique cultural contribution to how this society is reconceived and reconstructed.