I guess we should be grateful we got Black History Month. To tell you the truth, I have never been particularly one of the grateful who are happy to have whatever they’re handed.
My feeling is, so what? Had y’all told the truth about White history, there wouldn’t’ve been any need for Black history. So, ain’t nobody doing me a favor to set aside the shortest month on the calendar.
In fact, if you really want to do something, improve on the token gesture with another month. — a long one. Know what, while we’re at it make that March. For two good reasons; one, it comes right behind Black folk’s month, and two, March is Women’s Month anyway. Why can’t it also be Black Women’s Month?
Look at, one, the history of Black women shouldering an entire populace. Look, at two — well, never mind two. Shouldering a people is good enough for now.
Go back through history. Maybe even further than Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman (ask Mahmoud El-Kati, he knows everything else). No female on the face of the earth has been subjected to such uniquely sexist inhumanity as African American girls and women. Yet, they prevail, profoundly.
I’m going to send a proposal to the White House (just love that irony), saying March should be Black Women’s Month. Not to your boy Barack’s attention, but to Michelle. You want to get a powerful man’s attention — especially if he has a Black wife — get his wife’s attention.
Well, of course, what will happen is some secretary to the secretary of one of Michelle Obama’s assistants will get it. And promptly put it in the circular file. But, what the hell, you have to give it a shot.
Michelle, when your husband gets home tonight, make sure you rub his back, fix him some good food and have on something slinky when he comes to bed. Somewhere in there, make sure as well to say, “Baby, we need a Black Women’s Month, or you sleepin’ on the couch.”
Why should First Lady Michelle Obama hijack her husband and make President Barack Obama do whatever is necessary with Congress to have Black Women’s Month happen?
First, there are no statistics to back it up, the premise that sistahs historically have caught such sexual hell and had their humanity so debased as to be unimaginable. Tragically, it is imaginable, because, someone imagined it and did it. No statistics, but accounts.
Even before accounts, though, let’s look at rape, clearly evident rape. You’ve heard the myth. Yes, that Black slaves and, after them, freedmen, used to go around raping White women. And, you can look up cases of Black men being hanged /lynched for supposedly forcing a White woman to have sex, from the first African to set foot on American soil until headlines as recent as the 1960’s. Despite that, the idea, the very notion is ludicrous. What Black man, slave or free, in his right or wrong mind would rape a White woman knowing how insane a White man got at the prospect? You couldn’t ask for a truer death wish.
Not that there wasn’t widespread rape. It was happening, but, to Black women and girls. It happened when Massa and/or his son got in the mood to get theyself some. Just mosey on down to the slave pen and have some sex.
It happened when, after Black women were freed, if they got caught out alone, on a road, in a field, by some horny man, that woman, that girl would be violated, with impunity.
Fast forward. Today, we got homegirl Michelle who is an accomplished attorney, personable, articulate who triumphed, in the face of what females have had to go through to get her there. A spectacular triumph indeed.
Second, there are Michelle Obamas all over America who, spurred to inspiration (as if they really needed it I’d rather stare down a locomotive than get in the way of a Black woman with something on her mind) aspire to enterprise and otherwise make social change, while embodying empowerment.
Okay,so much for a public service announcement. You get the idea.
Dwight Hobbes welcomes reader responses to P.O. Box 50357, Mpls., 55403.