Capitalism Created Black History Month

>> Thursday, February 17, 2011

Black History Month editions sneakers

Five years ago, I wrote "Black History is More Than 28 days." Prior to that, and since that time, I've participated in, reported on, and organized dozens of Black History Month events. Each year, coinciding with the Lunar New Year, I reflect on my life, my family, our community, our nation, and this world.

Every year, I am increasingly dismayed by the negative influence of capitalism on Black History Month.

In 2006, I wrote, "Black History Month has come far from its humble beginnings to become a time of cultural celebration, education and community service (as well as a magnet for token-corporate sponsorship opportunities)." Focusing on the later throwaway statement, while I don't remember specifically what corporate cultural sponsor I was referring to, corporations give big money out in February (a menial token after all the money Negroes gave them the months before).

So what corporations might give big money to support Black History Month? ... WalMart? Chevron? Wells Fargo? Comcast? Lehman Brothers? Enron? It seems like there's always some company--especially those with sketchy relationships with African people--ready to give money.

So, a company like Wells Fargo, which regularly tables at my former school, Laney College, will sponsor a Black History Month event or buy advertising in a Black newspaper. Meanwhile, two states sued Wells Fargo in 2010 for "steering black borrowers into expensive mortgages, only to later conduct many foreclosures that cost the cities property tax revenue" and led to over $180 BILLION to be drained from Black and Latino communities, according to the Black Agenda Report.

But besides this sort of counter-intuitive, false conscious patronage, as well as ignorant anti-Black statements or downright racist stereotypes, there is also another major bi-product of capitalism; competition.

"Black History Month has come far from its humble beginnings to become a time of cultural celebration, education and community service (as well as a magnet for token-corporate sponsorship opportunities).
Since Black History Month is celebrated in February (and not because the white man" gave us the shortest month of the year", these Negroes try to fit 5 million events in these four weeks, as if it is uncool, or counter-productive to be Black year round. With this small window of time and a plethora of events, conflict is frequent. "

"In order to promote my event, and get more money than you from my corporate sponsor, I can't collaborate with you," the actions of some people seem to say. Even within the Peralta Colleges system, it was amazingly difficult to get all four campuses to work together to create one calender, and often events across the district would conflict. And on a single campus, faculty aren't working together, or students are working amongst themselves and not with the faculty. I remember one year at College of Alameda, some faculty and staff avoided coming to Black History planning meetings, didn't come to any planned events. Later, they stated, "Since there was no Black History Month, we're going to plan a Black Arts Festival" and wanted money from the student government to fund it.

Operating under this Eurocentric-notion of competition, African people miss out on the opportunity to collaborate. Collaboration and networking is central to the African worldview, spiritual practices, and the techniques we've used to survive.

If Black History Month continues to be co-opted by the corporate machine and the mythical Black capitalism, Black people will be history. Permanently.

p.s. If Capitalism created Racism. And racism led to racial science and the Western education omitting African contributions to civilizations. The outrights lies of "his-story led to Negro History Week, which led to Black History Month. Therefore, Capitalism Created Black History Month.

p.s.s. The Capitalist influence of SEO led me to write that headline, in hopes for more page views.



Post a Comment

About This Blog

Insight into my daily regimen. Obviously of a different specimen. Me, myself & I. So fly. Welcome to the Daily Regiment.

This blog is an outlet for me to write about my life experiences. While there will be consistent themes in my writing -- because I am what I project in written form -- the topics will vary from day to day, and post to post.

If you are interested in my formal news reporting, you can visit The Reginald James Report or The Black Hour.

  © Blogger template Webnolia by 2009

Back to TOP