I have to admit. I have a problem with Black History Month.
I always have. Don’t get me wrong, I have no issue with taking time, (albeit the shortest month of the year), to recognize the accomplishments of our trailblazing forefathers and mothers.
But we are a people with an epic history, and our minds had a part in almost every notable advancement in the fabric of human progress.
Nevertheless, it seems to me that Black History Month has gone from a defiant celebration of the men and women of the greatest revolution in U.S. history to a manufactured, commercial and lifeless mockery.
February is now the month where the vice-presidents of minority marketing, quotas and acceptance of every major company in the U.S. can earn his paycheck. We are provided a list of “acceptable” black heroes and heroines, inventors and explorers, a chapter in the history book, 30 minutes of NBC, (sponsored by Budweiser), sat down to the tune of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” and expected to be content.
Well, I am not! And you shouldn’t be either!
I challenge you all to take back Black History!
Take the time to learn about the unsung, less politically correct champions of the African experience.
Men and women such as Jean Baptiste Pointe du Sable, the founder of Chicago; Barack Obama Jr., who is making history today as the third black, and the first black male Democrat, to be elected to the U.S. Senate after the end of Reconstruction (1877); Marian Wright Edelman, who is the founder and President of the Children’s Defense Fund, and the first African American woman admitted to the Mississippi state bar.
Do the research.
We are more than athletes, actors, singers, and dancers. We are the builders of great nations and the architects of world wonders. WE cannot be summed up in a month.
Therefore, do not restrict your studies to the 28 days of February. More importantly make history today.
Celebrate the trailblazing men and women of our history by searing down new ones.
Commemorate the men and women that made a difference in your life by reaching down, across, out and behind to the youth that move onward and upward searching for the light.
Most importantly, it is our duty as Rattlers to leave our university and the surrounding community better than it was when it first embraced us.
Our commitment to FAMU will decide its fate.
The weight of the seal is on our shoulders. It is our burden and our gift. Head, Heart, Hand and Field.
I believe that if we make a commitment to our university, we can make a difference in the community and we will make BLACK HISTORY for generations of African Americans to come.
Phillip Agnew is a third-year business administration student from Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org