It’s that time of the year, February: African History Month. It’s time for all of us to consider what contributions individuals from such group have made to advancing humanity. In the process, we unearth the doctors, the scientists, the writers, soldiers in long ago time, men and women of great knowledge and thought. We might even find out that there’s really such a person as the real McCoy as in Elijah McCoy, the founder of the engine lubricator. We show the understanding that without such individuals we would be lacking many advancement. One can’t help, but feel astounded by the realization that people of African heritage have actually value beyond their dark skin, their different feature.
Feeling good about the attention we have paid to them, it is easier to shelf all that glory and pretend all is well. We have given the history its platform, its deserved attention. There will be another year to come, another February to give way to the discuss such a topic, to make ourselves feel better. Certainly this, In the meantime, is enough. Let us move on.
However, I would be remiss if I didn’t question why we actually need an African History Month as if it’s not a Canadian History. As if February is the only month we should be considering it. What happens to all that history, all the knowledge we have garnered for the last four weeks. What do you want me to do with it? Lock it away somewhere in the recesses of my brain for an easy access in eleven months from now? I just want you to know, I can’t do that. Please accept my apologies because for me African history, with all its blessings and challenges, is an everyday history. I exist because of it, not despite it. I breath it in as its cells coarse through my veins, help my heart beat without an effort, my lungs feed my body with oxygen.
Setting up, one month, single segregated month to celebrate the history of a whole group is nothing more than continuing to segregate that group still. These efforts are nothing more than giving ourselves the comforting feeling that we are good people. We include our diverse communities into our discussion and takes care of the problem. Let me say it doesn’t, at least not for me.