WHEN? WHERE? It’s like everyone KNOWS it’s Black History Month, but everyone ASSUMES that at some point during the month, somewhere a group of us Black folks throw a huge…um…celebration? So, I was at the Jungle Nightclub Monday night for the Stars of the Century Show, which is currently the biggest drag show in Atlanta, and it was the ONLY show or gay event in town that dedicated its program to Black History Month. As usual, it was a great show, but what happened to the rest of the month? Are we supposed to celebrate Black History before or after Valentine’s Day or Mardi Gras? Do we celebrate it a few days before the Grammy’s or right after The Oscars? What about at the end of the Super bowl game? Or on President’s Day? In other words, WHEN??? And don’t get it twisted, this month is for EVERYONE to celebrate, not just us.
Oh yeah, for example, it was a black man, Garrett Morgan, who gets credit for inventing a type of “traffic light” for the United States…in other words, for ALL of us to benefit from (even though some folks conveniently pretend to be color blind at times getting the RED mixed up with the GREEN light). Another important Black inventor was Benjamin Banneker. Aside from being a mathematician, astronomer, and author he invented the first clock in America. Again, all of us benefit from a clock today, no matter what color you are. See some of you thought it was invented by Hickory Dickory Dock. On a lighter note, or saltier note, George Crum invented the first ‘potato chips’ back in 1854. By 1860 he became rich selling all those damn chips. (This of course was BEFORE Herman Lay popularized the product through the Southeast U.S.) So next time you sit on the couch to watch TV with a bag of chips in your hands during February, turn off everything and have a quick moment of silence for African American inventor George Crum…but I’m not sure who invented buffalo wings. Next, she didn’t invent Marta, but in 1849 Harriet Tubman sure did come up with the “Underground Railroad Get Away” system as a rescue passage way for slaves to escape. How does this apply to us all? Well…her message is no matter what situation you’re in, always remember, “Where there’s a WILL, there’s a WAY!”
Of course there are plenty more relevant great Black folks from OUR history whom we can learn from and pay tribute to during this super short month that’s filled with a lot of activity (I’m surprised St. Patrick’s Day isn’t in February). But seriously, if you were to FIND time this month, look at where we come from and where we are today. Some of us are still eating plain potato chips.
Until next week, DON’T read the girls, instead read The Brent Star Report!