Kick Off Black History Month with Whitey Gras?

I learned a long time ago that one has to tread softly in the Memphis area when talking about race. Specifically white people have to tread softly. In the past, I’ve raised the question about whether we need Black History Month. Afterall, why should Black History be relegated to just one month. Make it a year round celebration.
Then Wednesday night, I caught an episode of the Daily Show with Jon Stewart which featured comedian Larry Wilmore doing a report on the pending arrival of Black History Month. If you haven’t see it, check it out.
Wilmore is a funny guy and I thought he made a great argument. He questioned whether Black History Month was necessary. Paraphrasing now: Hundreds of years of oppression made up for by 28-days of trivia. I’d rather have a casino. He went on to say he’d rather do what the Catholics do: The real celebration should be Black History Month Eve, a kind of Whitey Gras. A big party leading up to the start of Black History Month (kind of like Lent)
Now, I know there will be a knee jerk reaction by some who will post that I’m a racist or relating racist comments and it will be by some people who won’t even bother watching the video.
Some will watch it and still give me grief. But, the point is, don’t trivialize Black History and try to boil it down to one month. Make it year round.
For too many years it seems only black reporters will be assigned to cover events that occur during Black History month. And they’ll touch on the same folks every year from Harriet Tubbman to George Washington Carver to the Tuskeegee Airmen. Yes, all these folks made great contributions for black people but they also made great contributions for everybody.
Let’s celebrate those contributions year round.

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