Why do we commemorate so-called “Black” History Month? What does “Black” have to do with a people’s accomplishments? We don’t call the history of the United States “White” History, so I would like for you to ask yourself sincerely, why are the words “Black” or “African American” normalized when it comes to our people…? The last time I checked, Black is not a nation or a nationality. It’s a color that my skin does not reflect. African-American indicates two continents; how can my ethnicity be African and American? Which country in Africa does my lineage evolve from? I see a shade of brown, or copper, not “Black”. When I look at the typed words on the screen, they are true black in color. So, when dealing with the origins or history of a people, we should start with this question: How did a nation of people get labeled these descriptive, constructed words to describe their identity and nationality?
My people (“Black/African American”) take so much pride in being labeled a color that it can get very ugly if you challenge them on any other idea or notion that is not actually “Black.” We have embraced it as the norm, like my so-called “Hispanic” (Property of Spain) and “Native American/Indigenous” (descriptions, not nationalities) brothers and sisters. It’s almost like every nation of people who have been colonized or enslaved by Europeans lost their identity, culture, and nationality in the process. We went from “Colored” to “Negro” to “Black” (which is just Negro in English), to “Afro-American,” “African-American,” and the infamous “BIPOC” (“Black, Indigenous, and People of Color), which just grouped a bunch of nationalities to form an acronym, as if to say all these different nationalities have something in common because their skin has melanin.
I feel this conversation will begin the search for the truth and spark a conversation that may cause some to be a little uncomfortable but will ultimately bring enlightenment and edification to the topic and discussion about the origin of the so-called “Black/African American” nation of people here in the United States.
Peace, Love and Power! – Bretto
Lines For Life Equity Team Community Cultural Advocate