WTF is Black History Month?

(I’m clearly not fighting stereotypes writing a blog about Black History Month four days into February.)

I have a love/hate relationship with Black History Month. Now I love reading random factoids about deceased accomplished black people every day during the shortest month of the year, but something about Black History Month feels so forced. Not forced like Africans were forced on slave ships to America… forced like… forced like that slave reference was. Call me conservative, but I think black history is too complex to be taught in Elementary schools. "Okay, kids! Who's ready to tackle systematic racism!" 

When I was in 3rd grade, my teacher asked me to stand up and tell everyone a “Black History” fact that I learned while being black in my home. An 8-year-old version of me said, “My Mom told me that Abraham Lincoln and ALL the Presidents before him had slaves! But Presidents after him didn’t have slaves because he said so.” Like I said, black history is too complex to be taught in Elementary schools.

I titled this blog "WTF is Black History Month." Google said it's a “national observance” of achievements by African Americans (a phrase also used to describe the NBA). It all started in 1926 when writer and historian, Carter G. Woodson proposed that American schools start teaching African American history during the second week of February. Woodson chose that week to celebrate the birth dates of Abraham Lincoln and slave abolitionist Frederick Douglass. That week was referred to as “Negro History Week” before getting promoted to Black History Month. 

*See Barstool Breakfast’s black history fact of the day.*

To me, the whole month is an annual reminder that I’m black and I like, never need that reminder. At this point, the whole month feels like a random holiday filled with daily “black Snapple facts.” By the age of 5, I was about to tell you that George Washington Carver invented peanut butter. I’ve heard about George Washington Carver damn near every Black History Month. Out of all the black names that get highlighted in February, George Washington Carver has to be wypipo’s favorite. Wypipo love peanut butter.

A lot of my frustration surrounding Black History Month stems from the fact that I don’t know how to celebrate it properly. In 2018, I celebrated by seeing Black Panther four times in theaters. What do I do now? Re-watch Black Panther? Eat more peanut butter?

Carter G. Woodson wanted to bring awareness to African American history during the month of February. Mission accomplished, but how should Willie, Ebony, Zah and I celebrate this month at Barstool HQ?