Today is the first day of Black History Month in 2016 and we get an extra day thanks to the leap year! There has been some talk about comments that Stacey Dash made on Fox News about abolishing Black History Month and other entities that are said to be exclusive to the Black community. Stacey Dash isn’t the first Black person to feel this way nor will she be the last. Please understand that if we “get rid of” Black History Month we have to get rid of American Indian Heritage Day, Indigenous Peoples Day, Hispanic Heritage Month, and all the other celebratory months where non-Whites are remembered and recognized for the work they did to build this country and how they were simultaneously victims of racism and prejudices. Why do we need any of these months to remember or recognize what non-Whites have done in the past? Simply put, a lot of Whites don’t want those contributions to be recognized. This country was never built for those who built it. By the 16th century, the English were habitually abusing the granting of letters patent for monopolies. So imagine non-White inventors getting ripped off and unable to create generational wealth for themselves and their families, leaving them to continue working the fields and kitchens of the very person/family that takes credit for your invention.
If the Oscars weren’t “so white” than maybe I’d rethink abolishing Black History Month, if people didn’t hate on Cam Newton for dabbing than maybe I’d rethink abolishing Black History Month, if Kendrick Lamar would’ve won the Grammy for Best Rap Album against Macklemore than maybe I’d rethink abolishing Black History Month. If Freddie Gray, Sean Bell, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, and Emmitt Till were allowed to live a full life than maybe I’d rethink abolishing Black History Month. They may not to you but to me Black lives matter. There are a lot of figure heads that have a large platform that considers Black History Month pointless but if it wasn’t for Black History they wouldn’t have the platform they have now. You know how to run a label because you saw Berry Gordy. If Russell Simmons didn’t exist you think you’d have Rocafella Records or any other label headed by a Black man or woman? If we couldn’t see or hear about Russell we wouldn’t have the courage to even think we had a chance of doing anything in the music industry!
If there was no Black History Month in February we probably wouldn’t have a Hip Hop History Month in November. On social media there are celebratory days and months for mundane or idiotic things like chocolate, durags, or kitty litter and people will post about it all day but when Black History Month comes along I see stupid posts such as “Ms. Johnson, the first woman to out her baby daddy on child support.” What kind of mess is that?! You want somebody like Cicely Tyson to be recognized by the Oscar Academy while you just posted a meme about how old she is. We cannot contradict ourselves when we are trying to progress! Hip Hop is Black History! When the legends Rakim, Afrika Bambaataa, Kool Herc, and the rest go on to glory how we remember them is how their legacy will live on. (Guru legacy v Tupac legacy) Without Black History there is no Hip Hop History.
-“Hip Hop was set out in the dark, we used to do it out in the park.” MC Shan