Saturday, February 24, 2007

Black History Month

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored" in the final days of Black History Month!

I was once at a Daughters of the American Revolution event, and I heard one blue-haired lady grouse to another: "Do you remember when February used to be American History Month? This 'Black History Month' stuff is just terrible."

Okay, so now the Marian Anderson thing is getting old. Yeah, the D.A.R. wouldn't let her sing in their auditorium in DC, but that was, oh, 70 years ago. Dissing Black History Month is so much more cutting edge.

I've been getting some good-natured ragging in my English class because Black History Month is almost over, and the whole time (give or take a few snow days and holidays), we've been doing a step-by-step research report on insects. When the students don't feel like finding reasons to hate houseflies, they say, "Hey, isn't it Black History Month?"

Yes indeed, and these students have probably been writing reports on Marian Anderson every February since they were in first grade.

That's no excuse, though. I promise, bright and early this coming Monday morning, we're going to read African American poetry. It's high time.

Today is Saturday, though. And I'm just back from the movies. I like to go to movies alone. Do you? Some people say that's weird.

The movie I just saw is called Amazing Grace. It's a British production. I went to see it because it got three stars from the local critic, and it's a period movie. (I love period movies, because even if they're boring the gooey gowns are worth the price of admission.)

Amazing Grace is not boring. AND, even though it's about the slave trade, it's rated PG.

(I once had to turn off an HBO special about the African slave trade because of the graphic descriptions of torture. My loyal readers know me to be so squeamish I rarely attend movies rated R for violence.)

Anyway, the movie is about this righteous dude named William Wilberforce. Accent on the righteous. Wilberforce was moved by his religious faith to devote his life and health to abolishing Britain's ties to the African slave trade.

That faith, of course, was in the Big Old God, the busy one who is never bored.

Sometimes we here at "The Gods Are Bored" get pretty snarky about B.O.G. (For one thing, his book needs a serious edit.) Then we tend to forget that a great deal of good has come from people of faith in this particular deity. Wilberforce appealed to the clergy and the religious people in his nation, and they listened.

This, of course, was not the last time a man invoked B.O.G. in petition for redress of grievances for people of the African diaspora.

So, I think awesome Chonganda gave me an afternoon free of parental and spousal responsibilities so I could go and see a movie that reminds me not to throw out the baby with the bathwater. Faith in a deity can bring out the worst in people, but it can also bring out the best in them too.

If you're a Darwinian evolutionist like me, you understand that we are all African if we dig deep enough around the roots of the good ol' family tree. So, on Our History Month, let's try to treat everyone with respect and justice, and keep all furniture free from pesky, hard-to-clean stains.



Tennessee Jed said...

Ha Ha, you said spade. You rock, fa shizzle my nizzle!

Anne Johnson said...

OMG! Egg on my face! Back to edit the original!

Aquila ka Hecate said...

Funny-Chonganda seems to be noticable by His absence here on the Southern tip of Africa.

We mostly seem to make a lot of noise about the B.O.G Himself, especially if we're Black and trying to Get Ahead in the World.
(There's nothing He likes better than to see His People driving the latest model BMW, all dressed up in Designer labels.Or so they tell me ).
There's a slight hat-tip to the original Mother Goddess of Africa, here and there, but if you're not actually NeoPagan or Hindu in this country, chances are you've never even heard of any contenders for the title 'God'.
It's a bit depressing, to be honest.
Which is why I love to wander over here and get reacquainted with some of your house-guests, Anne!
Terri in Joburg

BBC said...

I don't like going to see movies, prefer to watch them in the comfort of my place.

I don't pay attention to Black History Month, or a lot of other stuff out there.

When I meet a black person all I want to know is if they are friendly, honest, and fair. If so, we'll get along just fine.

I did once watch a black history tape I got from the library, it was done by blacks. Very interesting, the 'whites' wrote history the way they wanted it to look.

Athana said...

True, it's never a good idea to throw the baby out with the bathwater. On the other hand, why take up truck with a dirty baby in the first place, when there are clean ones out there just waiting for adoption?