The time has come for us to celebrate the 28 days of this month, listing all the accomplishments, awards, discoveries, inventions and achievements that we as blacks have made.
Time to pull out our special African attire that has been sitting in the back of our closets, being saved just for this special time.
Time to put aside all of the petty differences and come together at least once, with a sense of brotherhood and camaraderie, and try to make a difference in society.
Time to remember all the pain and suffering those before us had to endure just to lessen the blow and lighten the load that we now feel and face.
Yes, its Black History month, a time for us to face up to reality – we have not been fulfilling our destiny.
Sure, we have made tremendous strides, but can we honestly say that this is enough or that we should be content and satisfied?
With all the inventions, discoveries, ideas, ups and downs. After all the struggles our ancestors went through for a dream that never truly became a reality in their time. Our race has encountered it, and killed it.
Black history did not just start when we landed on the shores of the American coast. It did not start when we got on the boat. It did not start when we built the pyramids of Egypt, an image so great that it has left historians, scientists, and archeologists baffled by how we actually accomplished such a great task. From mathematics to science, English to business, law to politics, we are, were, and will be the best. In my short life I have learned one important fact: You cannot have American history or any other history for that matter, without including black history.
For example Martin Luther King, Jr is still the youngest man to ever receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Shirley Chisholm is the first and only black woman to run for president of the United States. These people are trendsetters, always striving to become the best, making something out of a world of nothing.
But there is a question that has plagued me.
How can we not take advantage of all the opportunities that are presented to us?
Despite the endless possibilities that are all around, we tend to make our major dilemma – not whether or not we should join the student model United Nations or the drama club – but whether we should go to class or the Set.
How can we simply follow the crowd, when we haven’t the foggiest idea if they are going to church or the Moon?
How can we be useful to our peers when the only thing they seem to be thinking about is the Kappa party on Saturday, whether they are going to hear the go-go from the East, the bass of Chicago, the Swing of the Midwest, or the dirty dirty from the South?
Unless we are taking our shirts off and twistin’ it with the Carolina crew; or busing our gold teeth, baggy jeans and ghetto slang from MIA; or talking about how it’s all about the ‘benjamins’ with the New York Crew, we can’t even get through?
The fight has been too hard for us not to show appreciation. They say actions speak louder than words, and if that is true than we have a lot to do.
How can we even consider mapping out a plan for our life, for our future families, for our race, when we haven’t a clue as to where we’ve been and what we’ve done?
All of these questions are so simple.
How can we? My response: How can we not?
Demond D. Edwards, 19, is a freshman general studies student from Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.