• February 9, 2013
  • blog
It’s not real smart for today’s black parents to rely on February as the month their children get to find out who they are, and, most likely, the scant amount of information the kids get exposed to isn’t coming from their homes.

It doesn’t matter how many marching bands wearing colorful uniforms, high-stepping pom- pom girls with flowing store-bought hair or scantily decorated floats there are in the annual Black History Parade taking place in urban cities across the country, the majority of those who line the sidewalks to watch the show of colors historically speaking aren’t any the wiser.

I accept the accusation of raining on someone’s parade.  I’ve been accused of much worse over the span of my writing career which is close to forty years now.

I’m not one to defend my point of view.  I simply see my job as presenting it and graciously dodging the bullets fired in my direction.

This time, before the ammunition gets leveled against me, I’m here to set up a few reinforcements.  That really only means I’m going to support my claim that Black History Parades have very little to do with our history.

The Buffalo Soldiers take part in many of these February street shows.  Amen, they are history.  But aside from the parade announcer’s brief remarks about the group’s role in American history, parade viewers are left to stomp their feet, wave their arms and shake their butts to the intoxicating drum beat that tends to overshadow the contributions of the horseback riders from their integral part of American history.

Maybe the parent parade-goers actually take note and have their children research who these fierce calvary men were and what their service to our country entailed. Now, if you think this would happen, I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn you can purchase.

A tribute to Crispus Attucks by carrying a banner in any parade marching down Martin Luther King Blvd. in any city just isn’t Black History.

Crispus Attucks? While it is often asserted that he, a runaway black slave, was the first to die in the American Revolution, research sometimes questions this.  But Attucks was one of the first killed by British troops in the Massachusetts Massacre in March of 1770.

Do our children, black and white, learn about this man in their history classes?  Maybe so, but as parents we need to seize the opportunity to take the lesson much further, and lining the parade route in the name of Black History unfortunately dilutes this kind of effort because Attucks is to be out-cheered by the crowd as local politicians and celebrities wave from their top-down convertibles.

Ain’t much to be seen in a parade or heard by listening to the announcer’s commentary that’s gonna teach our kids what reading books and listening to the elders would do for learning some history.

Drum beats and shaking booties just ain’t  my kid’s history.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Mareme

    A memorial for our African American paoirtts is way overdue. We should be honoring These significant men and women in our schools, our communities, and our society.

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