I am currently reading The Best of Simple by Langston Hughes. The first handful of pages in I immediately realized how exceptional this work of literature is. Langston Hughes, one of the greatest to ever put pen to paper did a marvelous job with this one. The stories included in this collection are so relevant, yet comical. Each story probing you to read the next. While I get back to my reading, I’ll just leave this little snippet here for y’all from The Best of Simple.
I would pray a don’t-want-to-have-no-more-wars prayer, and it would go like this: ‘Lord,’ I would say, I would ask Him, ‘Lord, kindly please take the blood off of my hands and off of my brothers’ hands, and make us shake hands clean and not be afraid. Neither let me nor them have no knives behind our backs, Lord, nor up our sleeves, nor no bombs piled out yonder in a desert. Let’s forget about bygones. Too many mens and womens are dead. The fault is mine and theirs, too. So teach us all to do right, Lord, please, and to get along together with that atom bomb on this earth–because I do not want it to fall on me–nor Thee — nor anybody living. Amen!”
–Jesse B. Semple,
Langston Hughes. The Best of Simple. New York, NY: Hill and Wang, 1961. (reprinted 1989)
I almost missed Black I History Month…and I don’t mean just blogging, I mean I literally almost forgot that this was Black History Month. And the media didn’t help me out much because they didn’t do much talking about it. I did see a few previews for programming that would air during the month but there wasn’t much hoopla this year about the one month that black people are supposed to be celebrated. It’s almost as if they forgot about us this year; they meaning them and us.
Did Roots come on this month? What about Go Tell it on the Mountain, The Color Purple or Do the Right Thing? I didn’t see any of those movies, neither did I really hear anyone saying “It’s Black History Month!”
Is this the beginning of the end? Is this how Black History Month will gradually be eliminated? Is this phase 1 of no special month for you people? It is scary to think that the one month they did allow us could now be taken away from us. What is even sadder is that we ever bought into the fact that we were given one month out of the year to celebrate being black and WE ACCEPTED IT. Not only did we accept it, we bragged about it, we smiled and jigged and enjoyed it. We loved being given one month to say “Black is Beautiful”. We were so proud to have an entire month to report on and talk about the important black folk who had paved the way so that we could arrive. Our hearts were made glad that we had received the special treatment of an entire month allotted to us to celebrate the successes of black people. After all we have contributed to very much of America’s history. We have invented today’s necessities, broken records, written and sang timeless songs and danced our way into history…just not into history books.
Continue reading Our Allotted Time aka Black History Month