Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Whole Picture


Black History Month is upon us again. Even though a 28-day month is far from sufficient to honor the legacy of Blacks' existence in this racially complex country, it is still a good time to focus on the strong history that has been forged here, from the first slave ship to the struggles of the Civil Rights Movement. It is a good time to respect the bravery of those who fought against such inhumanity, a good time to celebrate the artistic talents of the poets, the singers, the dancers, the painters and the musicians. How does a mulatto fit into this? First of all, although my truths don't fall entirely within this history, I recognize that I am a part of this greatness, and secondly, I consider a more personal angle, that of the stories which my maternal family members passed on to me. Stories which include the melding of Black Caribbean and Black American cultures, the witnessing of historic court cases, discrimination during lunch breaks, and personal ties with great black leaders of the day. I recall vibrant and spiritual moments on Sundays and delectable food such as my aunt's juicy greens and my grandmother's pineapple upside-downcake. Through these tellings and experiences, Black History has always been up close and constant, outside the generic Black History box that comes about every February. I am thankful for this, and I ride a gentle wave of beauty and strength from this knowledge.

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