Dexter Rogers

Dexter Rogers

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The time has come to revamp Black History Month


What is Black? It’s a description of what we (African Americans) look like but doesn’t tell us who we are as a people.

What’s history? History is a series of events that transpired in the past. But many of the events that have transpired in African American history have been distorted.

What’s a month? It’s a number of days that are distributed to a represent 1/12 of a calendar year with February being the shortest of them of all.

I think it’s time to rename Black History Month and revamp the way it’s celebrated. First of all, African Americans are not Black and we need to better understand History to know our total existence cannot be defined in a Month.

African American descendants didn’t come here on the Mayflower. They weren’t on vacation from Africa and decided to stay. Africans were tricked and then forced into bondage thus planting the seeds of American oppression.

To truly understand African American achievements we first must understand what Africans were before the rise of American slavery. First of all Europeans are not willing to acknowledge that the world did not wait in the darkness for them to bring the light. The history of Africa was already old when Europe was born.

For instance, when one thinks of the word genius we’ve been conditioned to embrace American Albert Einstein: but when I think of genius Imhotep now comes to my mind. Imhotep is known as the worlds’ first multi-genius. About 2980 B.C. in ancient Egypt Imhotep was called “The Wise” because of his reservoir of knowledge.

Imhotep was a personal physician to King Zoser. He ran the world’s first hospital called the Temple of Imhotep. People from all over the world came to there to pray and heal.

Imhotep was also an architect and the mastermind of The Great Pyramids in Africa. The colors used to paint many of those pyramids are still visible today. Americans had to invent aluminum and vinyl siding.

Whose paint was better?

It’s Imhotep who coined the famous saying that’s still used today, “Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we shall die.”

Without question inhabitants of African culture built and sustained ancient civilizations that were outstanding.

We’ve head of Harvard, Yale, and M.I.T. What about the University Sankore? Ever heard of the University of Salamenca.?

They were two of the most world renowned institutions of higher learning. Both were institutions where people from all over the globe came to study. Both institutions were erected and maintained by Africans.

During the 14th century one of the premier institutions of learning known to man existed. Timbuktu is typically characterized a place of darkness and doom. Not so. It’s an ancient city known for its scholarship and spiritualism. It’s was located in Western Mali.

Knock me back to Timbuktu? Go ahead.

The University of Sankore is in Timbuktu. There you’ll find a collection of ancient manuscripts and artifacts that would reveal intimate details of its storied past.

African Americans mere presence is a result of the persistence of those who survived the heinous institution of American slavery. Those who live today have that power yet it’s often not recognized or poorly directed. But once we’re in our proper state of being we can become the President of the United States like Barack Obama if we so desire.

White America recognizing African Americans achievement is their way a taking credit for their accomplishments on American soil. They are suggesting all achievements garnered came under the tutelage of the American educational system. To me this month is a reminder, not of African American achievement-it represents the turmoil endured because of centuries of oppression. It also reflects the resilience of a people who’ve triumphed despite methodical opposition.

African leaders resided in palaces. It’s nothing new. When Obama first stepped foot in the White House it was never done in America but it was done by our forefathers many years ago in Africa.

Why is this important? If one believes African American history originated in America as slaves you’re mistaken. I think it’s vital for people to know where the real seeds of African American greatness spawned from. It puts the glorious achievements of African history in the oft missing pages of world history.

That’s why I suggest changing the name of the celebration and study history on an annual basis and not on the shortest month of the year. What do you think?

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