Recently, my son said to me, “Mom, why do you talk so much about our slavery here in this country? You link everything we face as people to our slavery experience. You seem to go ‘nuts’ during the month of February. From my experience this is not the case. I hang around kids from all races. I have friends from Arabia and they do not see me in this way. I can say the same for my white friends also. I can stay in their homes and be treated just like family. They can see that I am a black man, an African-American young male. It does not seem to bother them. They relate to me just like I am, a regular normal person.”
He further stated, “I do not feel we should have a month of Black History celebration. This should be a part of the regular American History text. This is what we should be emphasizing to the powers that be.”
I explained to my son that we were slaves longer than we have been free in this country. It was in this country that slavery became a matter of race and color. Even after the Civil War ended and the Emancipation Proclamation was in full force for the entire country; we as a people were still excluded from the main level of life here in America. This was known as segregation. In many states we were not allowed to vote like other citizens. They made up unjust laws. We could not attend schools like other children. We could not use the same public facilities. We, however, had to pay the same taxes like everyone. The only type of employment we could get were menial subservient positions, housekeepers, sharecroppers, etc.