Black History Month…Its Significance.

Marcus Garvey…“Up! Up! You Mighty Race you can accomplish what you will!”

Black History!

I and I have research my History

Now armed with knowledge and the truth, I know much about my roots.

Marcus Garvey, Claude McKay, Peter Tosh… I have to big up

Their recordings and their writings can never be too much

Since I and I start research my History.

Black History Month (BHM) is like the relationship a mother has with her children. It teaches who we are, where we must go and what we must be. It concepts are based upon traditional, cultural and moral values, centered on the family and society while reaffirming the conventions of dignity, pride, honor and race.

The brainchild of Dr. Carter Woodson, BHM is a time used to present to people all over the world the blue print of the architectural and intellectual design of Africa and Africans, long before Europeans even knew the world was round.

It is also the time to proclaim to the world our modern day achievements in the fields of medicine, science, technology, sports and all other facets of human endeavours as it is likewise the preservation of our culture, heritage and artifacts.

Some “Johnny come lately” may want us to the think that Black History Month is when Negroes go digging up their past in North America, but alas, Peter Tosh counteracted that a long time ago by letting us know that, “It doesn’t matter where we come from, as long as we are a Blackman, we are an African.” Jamaicans though scattered all over the globe join hearts and minds with our bothers and sisters in the words of Bob Marley, “arm in arms with arms” in the celebrations and acknowledgment of Black History Month… until the last bounded African is freed…then none of us considers ourself free.

Black History Month is not only about racism, segregation, apartheid, oppression and injustices. It is also about what we have mastered, be it economics, governance, arts and science. It is a time for us to also pay homage to the grass root warriors, the foot soldiers, supporters and martyrs of our struggle. They are the ones that fought gallantly behind and in front our generals, supplying the resilience in our onward battle for freedom and justice.

Fidel Castro is one such person. We must never ever forget how 55 thousand Cuban servicemen in 1988 fought as fellow comrade in arms to liberate Angola from the hands of the Boers and that that victory help paved the way to dismantle and eradicate apartheid in South Africa… Nor must we forget that in the early 1960’s Ernesto Che Guevara was in Algeria, Guinea Bissau and in the Congo. Viva Fidel! “Hasta La Victoria Seimpre.”

Yes Iyah, as Claude McKay penned it, “If we must die ,let it not be like hogs hunted and penned in an inglorious spot, while around us bark the mad and hungry dogs, making their mock at our accursed lot. Like men we’ll face the murderous, cowardly pack, pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!”

Let us applaud the courageous acts of Irene Morgan and Claudette Colvin, Assata Shakur, Alice Walker, Alex Haley, Nat Turner, Huey Newton, Betty Shabazz, and the countless others who dedicated their lives with the rallying call for racial authority. Here in Canada, it is the time to acknowledge the works of Bromley Armstrong, Dr. Mavis Burke, Dudley Laws, Alvin Culring and all the rest who created for us a proud History….Black History.

To the ghetto sculptors who have continuously carved African images and the poets and musicians who have maintained the African beat and lyrics we exalt our gratitude in sincerity. On every street, in every lane and on ever corner, big-up all man and woman who are engaging the minds of the youth in the philosophies, ideals and opinions of Marcus Garvey.

Students, it is to you this appeal is designed, stated hereafter in the words of Malik El Shabazz aka Malcolm X, “Of all your studies, history will best reward you for your research.”