As I observed the yearly celebration of Black History during the month of February , I have noticed that it is basically a rhetorical and repeated showing and speaking or highlighting of past memories of great events or great people. While this is good and suffices to remind the older ones and to let the present generations be aware of what actually happened and who did it in the past, are we really creating new history for future generations?
It is great to look back with pride and joy at previous achievements and inventions, but when one looks at the histories being created now, they are astonishing and of poor taste.
When a teenager can use a pair of scissors to stab his school-mate in the head and “feel no way”, when eight-year-old boys can break into their school and defecate on the floors when leaving and parents don’t think that they did anything wrong because they were punished for another wrong; when student after student stabs other students to death or hospitalise them and when adults are seen on television daily, demonstrating and behaving savagely and disgracefully when they were many times in the wrong, that is no kind of history that one wants to remember.
In light of all these ills and poor and un-sightly performances, it may be a better idea to forego the celebrating of black history month, and go back to basics and see if new black history can be developed by spending quality time in our schools, churches, social organisations and other areas where the youths can be better reached since they are more the ones who should be involved in the making of new history.
It should always be remembered that the primitive years are when children really learn the disciplines of life that will guide them through the young adult and older stages. If neglect and deprivations are what the child sees and knows in the early years, the frustrations and in-ability to change that life-style may become so devastating that such a child will find it very difficult to conform, let alone to change completely.
At an age when information is so available, there has to be a lack of or improper communication skills for so many young people who are so exposed to be so ‘dumb and cold’. While this is certainly not the trend in totality, it is far too obvious and practiced much too commonly.
Parents/guardians, teachers, education officials and all other should-be educators who liaise with the young ones should spend time during this month each year doing something special that will motivate the youths to change current life-styles, tame them and help them to become future black historians. When this is visible, then we could feel better about celebrating black history.