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This is my Black history not yours

From Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice  Blog

This is my Black history, not yours

This is my Black history not yours 1

by Shanelle Matthews, Communications Manager

[dropcap]Black[/dropcap]Women Writers— a timeless book that lays perched on my teeming bookshelf, tattered pages strewn with notes, insignificant to the naked eye. This critical evaluation of Black literary brilliance, that assesses the works of women like Toni Cade Bambara, Audre Lorde, Sonia Sanchez, Alice Walker, and Gwendolyn Brooks, is my Black history. I carry this history with me everywhere I go, indulging in the fictional genius and immeasurable talent of women who look like me and with whom I share the passion for the art of literature. This history fuels my creative prose and for it I am infinitely grateful because without it, I can’t be sure of where I would find my inspiration. But this is my Black history – not yours.

Black history month is proof of America’s obsession with pacifist behavior. A sweet cyclic muse that we court each February, exploiting the notion that Black history is a subgenre of American history and therefore can be relegated to a month filled with partial truths — one short, concentrated heritage month spent divulging stories that have been diluted due to an overwhelming feeling of White guilt.  This guilt urges historians to hide the truth and tell only those heroic tales of Blackness suitable for their grandchildren’s ears. This is not my Black history.

Each of us enters February anew. A month that begins and ends just like the others, with affixed holidays, anniversaries, and birthdays. Guilt, tradition, and a fear of discriminatory reprisal will lead teachers and the media to communicate misbegotten lessons that highlight the importance and relevance of Black people and our contributions, but we don’t have to bite. We don’t have to agree to learning only the lessons that post-racialists deem relevant to teach — a watery, fetishized skeleton of what is one of the most potent and vital legacies in American history.

My Black history, the one I celebrate every day, is intoxicating. It’s too…read the rest here

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