Well, here's a picture of me
Yay! I'm Black! I don't have to feel guilty at all this month! I Majored in History so I won't sound like an idiot when someone mistakenly says Whitney Houston Invented the Cotton Gin in Eli, Texas, I won't agree with them. I am a 3rd-Generation college grad, and a 2nd-Gen Master's degree earner. Success is expected in my family. My brother and I both were accepted to military academies, my other brother was an NAIA College National Champion in Track. So why does BHM make me nervous? Here's a picture that illustrates my life
There are actually too many chocolate chips in this "town" of a cookies, because I grew up around an OBSCENE amount of White people. As in, my family was The Black Family they knew.
So here is the root of my nervous tingles: I think I give, and have given, all my childhood friends the wrong idea about Black people. There was an assumption that we were just like the Cosby Show, but how realistic is that? I was good at sports, but i didn't bring it up because I knew it was a stereotype. It wasn't fair to talk trash when I could always back it up... it was cockiness that could have bordered on mean. Just because they found out Shawn Kemp could dunk in the 8th grade I was always asked if I could too... I spent whole days trying to jump higher just so I could. I was not offended by remarks I had no knowledge were widely known as being racist or offensive.
I was first called the N-Word in 3rd grade by a classmate who most likely heard it from their parents. When I ask my mom what it meant, she said that it was a word for Black people. I said, "Well, I am." I got to learn about Black History from people who "had to " teach it with peers who could not relate. I would get angry at images I watched in class about the Civil Rights protests, and not know why or have anyone to talk to about it. I can't tell you the number of Black jokes I've laughed off.
Now, I am a professional with a Master's in Education, and I find myself in as The Black Teacher in a school with a >1% minority enrollment. I don't blame the district, it's only 25 miles East of Seattle. I just want to make it through BHM without becoming a part of someone's curriculum.
What does BHM mean to me? Nothing. It doesn't land in the school year curricula during the Civil Rights movement, and to devote a single period of time to anything is to essentially ignore it the rest of the time. If you want my opinion (which you must if you've made it this far into this post), then BHM starts in Math classes with the discussion of how a Black man's vote was only counted as two-thirds. The you can move into why we wanted to show America, and he world, that we are 100% MAN!