The Black History month-long celebration was instituted in 1976. Prior to that time it was known as Negro History Week. The observance was pioneered by Carter G. Woodson, a scholar dedicated to highlighting the accomplishments of Black people. He chose the month of February because two of the people he admired most were born during that month, Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.
During Black History Month in 2023, African Americans have experienced some phenomenal victories. For one, Beyoncé Knowles, an accomplished and creative performer, is officially the most decorated artist in history after receiving her 32nd Grammy for the best dance/electronic music album at the 65th Annual Grammy Awards.
In addition to Beyoncé’s victory, another very talented and accomplished African American artist, Viola Davis, earned the last of four great awards (EGOT). She was awarded a Grammy for the best audiobook, narration and storytelling recording for her memoir, Finding Me, which means she now has an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony. This is a fantastic accomplishment!
In complement to the women’s achievements in the arts, the field of hip hop has basically come of age and was honored with its 50th anniversary during this month. This is quite a feat for a music genre people initially thought would not last beyond a few years. Along with this, Billboard generated a list of the top rappers of all time, and rapper Jay-Z emerged at the top of the list! In addition, Nicki Minaj was cited as the top female rapper of all time!
On the sports front, Super Bowl 57 was historic. It was the first time that two Black quarterbacks opposed each other in a Super Bowl event. Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs faced off against Jalen Hurts of the Philadelphia Eagles. The Kansas City Chiefs won.
All of this can be seen from the backdrop of severe historical constraints that have historically held Black people back. There was a time when the only roles African Americans could get in movies were those of maids and butlers. And many sports teams were reluctant to allow Black players on their teams.
The main arena now that needs to be conquered by African Americans is that of working together toward the goal of unity. Unfortunately, we are experiencing historic instances of African Americans who are being “outed” by other African Americans for various and sundry reasons.
Beyoncé, who as previously pointed out has broken records for the number of Grammys received, is enduring egregious slander coming from some Black people. They are saying she is a devil worshipper. They are also saying the same about her husband, Jay-Z, and also say they are part of the “Illuminati” (a designation given to those, it is said, who want to control world order) and are in a cohort of individuals who offer “ritual sacrifices” in order to achieve and maintain success.
In addition to the aspersions cast toward Beyoncé and Jay-Z, others are saying that many of the top moguls in the rap world routinely murder people in order to maintain their positions. There is a rumor that Aaliyah, the young, brilliant African American singer who prematurely lost her life in an airplane accident years ago, was actually “sacrificed” so that a certain popular female singer could gain more fame.
The bottom line is this: as fast as Blacks are making phenomenal gains, there are those who are tearing them down. It has almost devolved into a zero-sum game – almost everyone who is making great strides is being vilified by other African Americans who purport to know the “dirt” about them and proceed to spread it!
You would think Black people would be ecstatic now that there appears to be incremental gains in American life, but among too many Black people, the crabs in the barrel are working overtime to make sure others do not achieve or enjoy success. There are too many Black people who are actually sabotaging Black progress.
Ultimately, the expertise and ability to accomplish great things has been demonstrated by African Americans. At the same time, there is the mystery of the phenomenon of African Americans who work against Black progress. Because of this, it is almost certain that the only thing standing in the way of Black success is other Blacks, not white supremacists, not politicians, not law enforcement! This must change, and hopefully it will in time to make a difference! A Luta Continua.