During the Black History Month, America, the Blacks in America, and concerned people around the World pay tribute to Black figures, activists, politicians, and unsung heroes and heroines for the role they played in the U.S. history and their contributions to building the United States of America. AfroAmerica Network has been focusing on historical achievements by African American leaders and the monumental contributions in various fields.
In the "A Proclamation on National Black History Month, 2024" US President Joe Biden stated that: "This National Black History Month, we celebrate the vast contributions of Black Americans to our country and recognize that Black history is American history and that Black culture, stories, and triumphs are at the core of who we are as a Nation."
This year, ASALH, building on the theme from last year, stated that "In 2024, we examine the varied history and life of African American arts and artisans." and added:
"African American art is infused with African, Caribbean, and the Black American lived experiences. In the fields of visual and performing arts, literature, fashion, folklore, language, film, music, architecture, culinary and other forms of cultural expression, the African American influence has been paramount. African American artists have used art to preserve history and community memory as well as for empowerment. Artistic and cultural movements such as the New Negro, Black Arts, Black Renaissance, hip-hop, and Afrofuturism, have been led by people of African descent and set the standard for popular trends around the world."
In 2023, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) explained the importance of the Black Resistance theme as follows: “By resisting, Black people have achieved triumphs, successes, and progress as seen in the end of chattel slavery, dismantling of Jim and Jane Crow segregation in the South, increased political representation at all levels of government, desegregation of educational institutions, the passage of Civil Rights Act of 1964, the opening of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History in DC and increased and diverse representation of Black experiences in media."
The proposed theme appears to be the next step of the theme of 2023 Black History Month: "Black Resistance: Building Bridges and Navigating Barriers" and the drivers of 2023 Black History Month: "progress, setbacks, and tragedies". As usual all these combined themes need to be brought to the forefront given the on-going challenges against the Voting Rights, and the banning of teaching Critical race theory in public schools, and the on-going trials related to the murders of Blacks by the police (see Celebrate 2023 Black History Month: Voting Rights, Critical Race Theory, Black Resistance and Celebrate 2022 Black History Month: Voting Rights, Critical Race Theory and Remembering George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and Rayshard Brooks)
Get the following books on Amazon:
Legs of Tornado: The Human Who Outran the Wind, an African tale about a human from a humble upbringing who outran the wind, defeated evil spirits, overcame his fate, became a respected clan chief, and triumphed ever after.
Even Roosters Dream to Fly along with Legs of Tornado are also available on Amazon worldwide and soon to several other platforms:
For more on the book, the author, the inspiration of the stories, Visit the author website here
The start of the month happens after a year in which unnecessary killings of Blacks by police officers have continued. High-profile 2023 cases include the fatal beating of Tyre Nichols in Memphis, whose violent arrest and subsequent death three days later, on January 10, 2023, prompted widespread grief and outrage. During his violent arrest, Tyre Nichols, 29, a Black man and a father of a 4-years old was beaten, punched, tased, and chocked by 5 Black officers.
Then, there ware the following high profile killings of Blacks:
- Keenan Anderson, 31-years old high school English teacher and father, who was tased and killed of in Los Angeles;
- Niani Finlayson, 27, in Lancaster, California, shot and killed when she called 911 for help over domestic violence;
- Ricky Cobb II, a 33-year-old Black man, shot by a Minnesota trooper after he was pulled over for a tail light violation;
- Tahmon Kenneth Wilson, 20 years-old, shot and killed by four police officers, while unarmed outside a California Bay Area cannabis dispensary.
In this year, the communities are asked to remember the murdered Blacks, including George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, Tyre Nichols, Keenan Anderson, Niani Finlayson, and Tahmon Kenneth Wilson.
Meanwhile, a positive step has been recorded. On Friday, January 13, 2024, after years of waiting, Federal prosecutors decided to seek the death penalty against a white supremacist who killed 10 Black people, including elderlies, in a mass shooting at a Buffalo supermarket.
Critical race theory, or CRT, is the perspective that any analysis of American society must take into account the history of racism and how race has shaped attitudes, institutions, justice, corporations and others (for more see here Honoring Rev Martin Luther King Jr Day in 2024)
Let us continue to reflect on the ideas captured in the poem by Amanda Gorman (see AfroAmerica Network: US 2020 Elections: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Sworn In; Former Vice-President of First Black President and First Black Woman Vice-President ), in these lines:
- Amanda Gorman
@AfroAmerica Network, 2024.