I’m sick and tired of Black History Month

Original+painting+by+junior+Zakiah+Mitchell

Original painting by junior Zakiah Mitchell

Black History Month. The shortest month of the year. The only time Black people get credit for the change they have made in the world. From a white man’s perspective.

As a black woman living in America I hate this month. Not because of what we are celebrating but because of how we do it. Year after year teachers teach us about how Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat for a white man and how Martin Luther King had a dream but what about everyone else. This country is smeared in the blood of Black people and all we get is 28 days.

I’m tired of hearing the same stories over and over again when there are men and women like George Floyd, Trayvon Martin, Rayshard Brooks, Sandra Bland, Breonna Taylor and thousands more that have lost their lives to people that swore to protect them. I’m tired of hearing the same stories about the Civil Rights movement when the BLM Movement has been going on for seven years. I’m tired of hearing the same old stories when today, in 2021, I fear that it’s going to be me or my family staring down the barrel of a white man’s gun next. Systemic racism is so deeply embedded into American history that you think that this month full of lies is enough reparation for all the damage done to my people.

Tell the world the truth about how amazing black people are. Tell us about how slave owners forced slave women to have children just so they could use their breast to feed the child of their owner. Tell us about how after slavery 20,000 “free” black people were forced into concentration camps called the Devil’s Punch Bowl and were starved, raped and abused until they died and weren’t allowed to be laid to rest so their bones still float to the top of the Mississippi flood waters till this day.

Tell us about how the word picnic originated from a BBQ that slave owners threw where they picked slaves, publicly lynched them and then feasted on their roasted bodies with their friends and families like savages. Tell us about how a black man revolutionized the lightbulb and a black women created feminine sanitary pads. Tell us about how Emmet Till was framed and executed for the rape of a white woman who admitted that she lied. There are too many days in this month to be told the same five stories year after year, but not enough for our point to get across.

What about current events? Why not Black Awareness Month instead of Black History Month? It’s not like the oppression ever ended. Why is history so important when we are still being slaughtered in the streets and in our homes because the white man finds the melanin in our skin threatening?

I refuse to sit back and allow white people to teach me about the history of my people from the oppressor’s perspective. I refuse to sit and write essays about what Black History Month means to me because I AM LIVING THROUGH BLACK HISTORY. Every day I am targeted because of the color of my skin. Everyday I am talked down to because of the color of my skin. Every day my emotions and physical feelings are invalidated because of the color of my skin and I’m tired. I’m tired of hearing the same stories over and over again because all it seems to do is make history repeat itself. I’m tired of being black in Ameri-kkka.

Zakiah Mitchell is a reporter for the Crimson Times.  All opinions expressed in op-eds are the opinions of the student, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of the Everett Public Schools.