Although it officially started on Sunday, I’m taking this opportunity to acknowledge Black History Month.
While I won’t be dedicating every single post to the occasion, I will be trying to do my part to alert you to any interesting links I come across or are brought to my attention, as well as using my Hump Day videos this month to highlight several of my favourite musicians.
I will also try to engage myself in a little self-education by aiming to read at least one or two books I’ve never gotten the chance to, and then hopefully post them later this month as Loquacious Reads recommendations.
I don’t think Black History Month should be relegated to one month a year. But perhaps it’s the kick in the pants someone like me needs to expand my brain, if no one else’s.
To get it started:
Yesterday, a friend of mine forwarded a link to the blog Burning All Illusions. Blogger Ewuare X. Osayande kicked off his Black History Month by levelling an “open letter” at actor Will Smith in reaction to his thoughts regarding the recent presidential inauguration of Barack Obama. The guy certainly doesn’t mince words.
Today, another friend sent me a forward containing part of Bill Cosby’s 2004 address to the NAACP in Washington. The speech was given on the 50th anniversary of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court case in the United States.
Like Osayande, Cosby didn’t pull any punches when it came to telling people what he thought. In this case, his message was about the state of the country’s black children and – to a further extent – the parents raising them.
Dubbed the “Pound Cake” speech, Cosby’s comments sparked outrage in some circles and debate in others. And the message has certainly resurfaced time and again in the years since.
While my friend’s forward ended with, “It’s not about colour … it’s about behaviour!” I thought it particularly timely (and well-timed on the part of the friend who sent it). I found a link to an MP3 which plays excerpts from the speech – plus a transcript below that – which you can find by clicking here.
So if you’ve got a chance, take a little time and check out either link – or both – and marinate on it a little bit.