Black History Holds NO Fame!
Dragged from your native land,
on a floating barge of death.
You built paradise for a thief
who then plundered all the wealth.
Your name was not your own.
You would never again be free.
To know such hate from them,
as they hung you from a tree.
They say that slavery’s over.
Go forth and earn your keep.
And though you labor long,
you’re valued much too cheap.
You were denied so many rights.
And the vote was not for you.
Though many marched and died,
the court bid that adieu.*
Some think you’ve made great strides
in the face of all that’s wrong.
Yet they herd you into prison,
because they hate that you are strong.
Be wary of their smiles,
for they mean you so much harm.
If you’ve a talent, they’ll exploit it.
All over you, they’ll swarm.
They’ll use you and they’ll kill you.
You’re nothing but a thing,
and when your candle’s burned
you’ll feel ole Massa’s sting.
Don’t ever let your guard down,
and it doesn’t pay to trust.
Shield from them your weakness.
Always show them your disgust.
Black history holds no fame.
And it certainly gets no cheer.
Times have never changed.
They still look at you and sneer.
Shelby I. Courtland
©2014 Shelby I. Courtland
*June 25th 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, removing a critical tool to combat racial discrimination in voting.
Where shall we begin? Let us celebrate the 11% unemployment rate for Black men even though the national unemployment aka jobless rate stands at 3.7% and if your head’s not stuck up your ass, then you know that even that is a damn lie! Break out the champagne Black folks for those of you who can afford a bottle of say, Andre Cold Duck! Clink those plastic cups together and then piss in the wind because it’s all blowing back your way anyway; the shit that keeps hitting the fan, that is.
Next on our celebration list is the shit that is going down in our public education system better known as the ‘school-to-prison pipeline’ if you’re a student of color in these here United States of America where we celebrate Black History Month each and every February. This month is dedicated to showcasing the achievements of Black people in America. We are celebrating each and every single achievement that has not yet occurred but will eventually occur and we are real sure of this happening any day now.
To continue the celebrations, let us look at the child poverty statistics that are sure to impress us during these celebrations of future achievements that we are hell bent on celebrating this month. We are celebrating the fact that ‘child poverty in America is at its highest point in 20 years, putting millions of children at increased risk of injuries, infant mortality, and premature death’. And if that isn’t bad enough, ‘7 million kids still don’t have health insurance’. This is just so worth celebrating, what an achievement! What a dream as opposed to a nightmare. I wonder what that famous man who had a dream, would think of this. I seriously wonder.
But wait! There is more to celebrate this Black History Month! The good news just keeps on coming. ‘Incarceration rate for African-Americans now six times the national average’ is still making headlines among Black prisoners and their mostly white guards and the white slave patrol that arrested them for say, selling loose, un-taxed cigarettes, selling marijuana or crack while completely ignoring the white man that was buying said crack and marijuana from the guilty by birth African-American other wise known as Colored otherwise known as Black otherwise known as felon or prisoner no.1,000,034. White folks, why don’t you just lock up every single Black person at birth? It’ll save you the trouble of doing so later on since many of us will know what it feels like to be shackled just as those we are descended from knew what it felt like. And the beat goes on and we celebrate it.
And ‘here’s the Data That Shows Cops Kill Black People at a Higher Rate Than White People’, now ain’t that a bitch?! Unfortunately, Michael Brown is not here to celebrate this Black History Month with us because he was shot and killed by a cop. Twelve year old Tamir Rice is also not here this year to help us celebrate because he was shot and killed by a cop while playing with a toy gun in a park. John Crawford, likewise, is not here to celebrate because he was shot and killed by a cop in Wal-Mart while holding a toy gun. Eric Garner, unfortunately, for him, was selling loose, untaxed cigarettes and that cost him his life and so he will not be joining in the celebrations. Terrance Franklin was shot and killed by cops following a traffic stop and he will not be celebrating ether. Seven year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones was shot and killed by a cop while she slept and the charge of manslaughter against the cop that shot and killed her was dropped and so, she is not just ‘under-the-weather’, she is underground and therefore, is not able to celebrate this historic month. Let us celebrate on her behalf. Sandra Bland is not here to celebrate with us because she was hanged in a Texas jail cell. So many are not here to witness all of the achievements that we celebrate today that have not as yet occurred. But we are sure that any minute now, we shall achieve….something. Yeah! Wait on it.
Fortunately, I have found yet another statistic that gives us even more of a reason to celebrate Black history month. Black families are seven times more likely to be homeless. We have come so far this February in the year of our Lord 2020, have we not? Blacks make up half of the U.S. homeless population. Doesn’t that just give you a warm and comfortable, cozy feeling that those homeless people lack? These are achievements that we have here folks! Time to celebrate and to keep the momentum going. Our ancestors would be so proud of where we are today. Don’t you think? Does this not make you aware that BLACK LIVES DO NOT MATTER?!
Now, on the other hand, Tyler Perry will dress up in drag and put some Black folks to work on another Madea movie and Beyoncé will croon about a Halo for Jay-Z and Jay-Z will rap about niggas while DMX will head back to prison for drug possession, get out on probation again and then go right back in for drug possession. Viola Davis will have no problem getting cast as yet another maid after her role in ‘The Help’ and Forest Whitaker is probably all set to play yet another version of someone’s Butler since every one is well aware that us Black folks are so good at bowing and scraping and being subservient to our ‘betters’.
Finally, I’ve given you many reasons to celebrate this month. The reasons are endless and our achievements that we will watch for some time in the future are making life much better for so many of us and that is why we must enjoy this Black History Month. We have no need to march and protest like those Black people in the 1960s did. We are so past that in this here post-racial America. I mean, what we have here is a post-racial America, is it not? But nevertheless, Dr. King would be so proud as would his stalwart, fellow marchers-in-arms at the progress that we have made since his infamous, I Have A Dream speech. We shall overcome! Uh…what I meant to say is that, “We did overcome!” Now like the good little sheep you are, start celebrating all of this shit!! And look ahead to when the REAL achievements will come because surely they must come!