Black History Month, is it relevant?

Posted on février 12, 2012


February or not, Black of all colors

It’s February, I’m Black and I still don’t understand the hype around Black History Month. To be honest, I wonder how relevant it is to have a special month dedicated to people who have such a diversified culture that they don’t even recognize each other.
For example I am originally from Africa but I live in « America » (Canada). Yet, I can’t say I am African-American and I have no clue who Black Canadians think they are. I can’t even pretend that I know exactly what being African means.

Every person on this planet gives a different meaning to being black. It is thus impossible to define black culture. As a matter of fact, we can’t even confirm that such a culture exists.
When I was in high school, some people made me feel that I wasn’t worthy of being called « black » because my accent was different and because I never permed my hair. Another factor that deprived me from the right of being black was the fact that I wasn’t a fan of rap.

Celebrating culture

After all, the whole idea of this blog is to discuss cultural identity and I guess Black History Month allows to explore the diversity of Black people. Surprisingly though, I don’t like the idea of « dedicating » a whole month to a certain race. If Blacks have a specific month to celebrate who they are, than other races or « cultures » should have their own month as well. Native American History Month, now how would you like that?

I prefer the kind of activities organized by Nuits d’Afrique (a festival celebrating African, Arab, Caribbean and South American music) to activities that only promote my race. I guess it’s the difference between inclusivity and exclusivity…