Image found at Library of Congress
It’s Afropalooza Time!!!–And I had to come back for this. I had to. You know this is my favorite time of the year.
And no, I am not going to give excuses for being gone so long. I’m just going to act like your favorite auntie: Swish in wearing my cutest outfit, pretend I’ve never been gone, and ask you to fix me a plate. (“Give me an extra pork chop, baby, and don’t tell my doctor.”)
But first, before we shake our proverbial groove thangs in celebration of Black History Month, our loving ancestors and all the glory they have given to us black folks and to the United States in general, I must needs have a word about Stacey Dash.
O Stacey, upon whom the incomparable Gabrielle Union threw the world’s best Sister Girl Shade.:
“Who… is… Stacey Dash?”
Usually, I don’t like Shade or, even, shade. But when somebody starts kicking dirt on the entire house that black people built, going back four hundred years, I live for this kind of Shade With a Big “S.” I cannot lie.
So let the Shade against Embarrassing The Race Negroes begin.
I used to love me some Stacey Dash. Who didn’t love Deon in Clueless?
She was cute, she had spunk, and she kept her man in check. But now, I don’t know what has happened to Stacey. I hesitate to speculate. (Forgive my iambic tretrameter.)
However, though it’s been a while, y’all do remember me, don’t you? Thus, I will speculate, indeed.
Has Stacey always been someone who hated black people, even as she starred in various iterations of R&B slash Hip Hop music videos?
Is Stacey getting paid a really huge secret stipend—aside from her regular salary—to dog out black folks (at seeming random intervals though we know there is a Master Charlie plan) on Fox News?
Is Stacey mad that she got fired from that Single Ladies show on Vh-1, after the alleged “did not happen” physical altercation with her co-star, LisaRaye? Did Stacey perhaps forget to take her earrings off before said alleged “did not happen” altercation and have to get her earlobes reattached to her head via plastic surgery and is now suffering post-traumatic stress?
It’s a mystery.
But I’m still really irritated that this woman would even fix her mouth to say we don’t need Black History Month. What is wrong with her?
I’m even more irritated that, somewhere, the many white microagressors who are constantly mentioning their one “black friend” to justify their daily racist acts have a champion in Stacey Dash.
So let me explain to those who do not know why we need Black History Month. Or as one of my dear friends from Philly says, “Let me break this down so it will forever stay broke.”
So first, let’s just pour out some very expensive adult beverage for Brother Carter G Woodson, the founder of Black History Week, which later became Black History Month. Thank you, Brother. We appreciate you so much.
Second, Black History Month begins in February, and February 1 is the birthday of Langston Hughes, and if you don’t like him, I just don’t know what to say about you.
Langston Hughes (Image found at Poetry Foundation)
Except, I will try to change your mind. Here’s my favorite poem by him.
Don’t make me break into a recitation of said favorite poem, record that, and then post it to my blog. Get your mind right and get with Brother Hughes’s poetry, before it’s too late.
And then, there are a bunch of other fabulous black people born in February: Rosa Parks, Alice Walker, Melvin Tolson,Toni Morrison, Sidney Poitier, Marian Anderson, and Leontyne Price. Some of them are still alive, so we really need to celebrate them to the utmost, while they are still here on this earthly plane.
Leontyne Price (image found at “On and Off the Record”)
Sidebar: Did I ever tell y’all about the time I was nine and saw Leontyne Price sing luminous opera music at Duke University in Durham, NC? And I got an autograph from her (that I lost somewhere)? I remember she was beautiful, she had a presence, and her false eyelashes were epic.
Anyway, just so you know, we do not need Black History Month to boost African American self-esteem, though that is a nice side effect.
We do not need Black History Month to prove why we need reparations for slavery. There is no proof needed for that. (Just Google African Americans and 1619, and that’s all you need to know.) I know I will never get my check, though, just like I will never get back that five dollars I let my cousin “hold” in 2009.
We do not even need Black History Month to promote African American unity. We already have that. It’s called “Black Twitter.”
However, we do need Black History Month because only stupid people think that the history of race relations in the United States of America began at 4:30 this morning, like some sort of bizarre, colored version of the movie “groundhog day.”
Sidebar: Those people who think race relations are great now are also those folks who claim to be “colorblind” but simultaneously can see color just good enough to constantly bring up their one “black friend.”
And we do need Black History Month because there is a lie floating around that only white folks have participated in the building of this country, from its beginning. I have met grown, white people who did not know that black men fought in the American Revolutionary War.
Now that I done said that, when it comes to Black History Month/Afropalooza, y’all know that I will most definitely extend a party.
Like, you know how some (black) folks will announce a week before their birthdays that it’s their birthdays—and then, party for an entire seven days with no shame, eating various forms of pigmeat and drinking brown liquor like it’s mother’s milk?
That’s me (without the brown liquor. I can’t handle it.) I have no shame.
So in February, there’s Black History Month and I celebrate black folks.
In March, there’s Women’s History Month, so I celebrate black women–who I already have celebrated in February because I’m, like, a woman and I’m black.
In April, there is National Poetry Month, and I’m a poet (and many of my friends are poets), so I celebrate black poets.
It’s a 90-day Afropalooza party, y’all!
So if you are tired of black people, you need to check in now, say, “Hey Honorée! It’s good to see you again, girl, FINALLY!” (That would be your own brand of shade, but I don’t mind.) And then, you can come back and visit me in May.
I’m just warning you ahead of time, because I love you.