Yes, yes y’all – Two’s Days are back. And as we return on this, the third day of Black History Month, we offer you two for the culture.
Notice I said for the culture and not our culture. This is an important distinction because our culture is universal culture. And while February is Black History Month, the truth of the matter is Black history is America’s history. To study Black culture would be to study the truth about American history and the give-take relationship that Black people have had with this country. And this relationship hasn’t always been based on reciprocity. For centuries, we’ve given far more than what we’ve taken and this country has taken from us far more than we’d elect to freely give.
But here we are. At the beginning of Black History Month where we’ll celebrate Black contribution and accomplishment. And in most cases we’ll talk about these things as if they’re completely separate from the larger picture. We’ll revel over the impact of Black music and the Black arts. We’ll highlight the achievements of Black doctors and Black scholars and Black leaders. We’ll apply this adjective to everything in a way that detaches us from them.
The fact of the matter is the system is flawed. It’s beautiful to be celebrated and some celebration is even required. Since our history isn’t readily and accurately portrayed, we have to celebrate in order for our story to be told and heard. But there needs to be a point in time where the descriptor isn’t needed. A point where history is told truthfully and completely. A point where its certain Black accomplishment and historical significance is synonymous with American culture.
For the next four weeks, we’ll explore some elements of the Black experience. But for now, here’s two for the culture…
Ras Kass – “Nature of the Threat”
Esperanza Spalding – “Black Gold”