Right around this time of year, I make a comment at either my children's school or my school that is a catalyst for the crook eye, stink eye, or evil eye...actually all three. Generally speaking, it's the same comment every year and it goes like this.
I hate Black History Month.
At first, people think I'm joking. Then they realize I'm not. A quick glance at my bald head and they think I might be a member of the skin heads. This usually evolves into indignant anger and outright disgust...even when I explain why I hate it. It's terribly vexing.
I hate Black History Month because every month should be Black History Month. To put it simply, our curriculum should be similar to the theme and style of Ken Burns' fantastic documentary series, Baseball. If you haven't seen it, this is how the story of our history should be told...from the point of view of all people, not just the famous ones that have been heroified being belief. One cannot look at the history of this country without looking at the role of black people in our culture.
To set aside one month as a metaphorical highlight reel is akin to asking the one black friend you have to be a spokesperson for all blacks. It's simply ridiculous. I get the reasons why we do it but, in the end, it only makes it worse. People pay attention for one month and then our ADD culture tunes out the rest of the year and it's back to the myopic view of our history and culture. It's crap and I hate it.
I catch a lot of heat for not doing more at this time of year but I just tell people,
"Come see me the other 11 months of the year."