Archives for category: BHFOTD

Because some of them would be SO! MUCH! BETTER! with pictures.

Especially when I tell random stories about when I was a newly married military wife because 1) I looked so young! (I was. I was 19), and 2) MY HAIR (hairstyles rarely age well. But whatever. I was in Hawaii and I was still cute)

ANYWAYS. I was one of two military wives of 1/3 (One. Three. Not one third). As such, I got to hang out with ALL the boys when they didn’t go to the town bars because 18 was old enough to drink on base ONLY [You’re old enough to be shipped off to war, you’re old enough to drink. Those were the days]. So it would be me, other wife (never girlfriends) and anywhere from 5-10 Marines. One of the last times we were all together was for a going away party. Pretty much all the guys were changing duty stations or getting out. So we had a cookout at a park in Kaneohe.

THIS IS WHEN PICTURES WOULD COME IN HANDY. Imagine 10 or so just barely 21 year old Marines drinking and playing in the park:

  • I have a picture of one of my favorites passed out on a picnic table getting the mother of all sunburns.
  • I have a picture of my 3 year old peeing at a tree because I asked one of the boys to take him to the bathroom since he said he was going that way. (So, really I have a picture of TWO boys pissing on a tree)
  • I have a picture of all of them together (plus their kids) before they all went their separate ways in the Corps. Black. White. Brown. Semper Fi. Do or Die. Etc.

 

This was 1993.

 

TODAY in 1948 President Truman signed Executive Order 9981, abolishing racial discrimination in the US Armed Forces.  It expanded on Executive Order 8802 by establishing equality of treatment and opportunity in the military for people of all races, religions, or national origins. The order also established a committee to investigate and make recommendations to the civilian leadership of the military to implement the policy. The order eliminated Montford Point as a segregated Marine boot camp. It became a satellite facility of Camp Lejeune.

Most of the actual enforcement of the order was accomplished by President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s administration (1953–1961), including the desegregation of military schools, hospitals, and bases. The last of the all-black units in the United States military was abolished in September 1954. [NINETEEN HUNDRED AND FIFTY-FOUR!]

Fifteen years after Truman’s order, on July 26, 1963, Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara issued Directive 5120.36 obligating military commanders not to employ their financial resources against facilities used by soldiers or their families that discriminated based upon sex or race.

 

 

Which is why on THAT DAY in 1993, a bunch of just barely old enough kids could all get together, get drunk and say goodbye the way that Marines do.

That’s today’s random BHFOTD that is not in February, but seemed especially appropriate today.

As you were.

 

 

 

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So for the last few weeks I have been BEYOND STRESSED. And it was completely “so-called ruler of the united states (SCROTUS)” work related.
Because of the Muslim Terrorist ban (that bans ZERO people from the countries where terrorists have so far resided) I had been internally screaming/worrying that one of my researchers wasn’t going to be let back into the country. She went home to her family in her primarily Muslim country while Obama was still our President and was due to return AFTER y’all’s (NEVER MY)president called all Muslims terrorists except for the countries where he has business dealings, but I’m sure that’s coincidental.

I can’t even tell you how low-key (and HIGH KEY) stressed some of our researchers (and the people who employ them) were/are. We got an e-mail from the higher ups requesting that maybe some of our international researchers should chill on travel until this was all straightened out.
Relatedly: I gotta say it’s nice to know that my place of employ understands that this is upsetting, and provided some recommendations to help relieve their concerns.

ANYWAYS. The other day I ran into said researcher in the breakroom.
And I was VERY excited to see her.
I mean…not excited enough to show emotion, because that’s not my jam
but I *DID* let her know I was glad to know she made it back safely.
[And by safely, I meant AT ALL]

I mean, these researchers are kinda like my kids.
I make sure they care of the things they need to take care of that aren’t research related because researchers are only interested in research not making sure that all their paperwork is turned in on time. AND I smack them around when they sass me. I’m kidding. They know better than to sass me.

Also. I’m not really in charge of them*
But I could be one day.

Because of Mary Frances Berry, Birthday Girl.

Berry attended Nashville’s segregated schools, graduating with honors from high school and attending Fisk University in Nashville. She transferred to Howard University, where she received her bachelor’s degree. [whew. Come THROUGH, HBCUs!] Following this, Berry studied at the University of Michigan, received a Ph.D. in history from the University of Michigan and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.

Berry spent the next six years working at the University of Maryland, eventually becoming interim provost of the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences. In 1976, she became chancellor of the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado, the first black woman to head a major research university.

BUT THAT’S NOT ALL. She also:

1. Took a leave of absence from the University of Colorado when President Jimmy Carter named her assistant secretary for education in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (1977).
2. Returned to Howard University as a professor of History and Law. (1980)
3. Was appointed to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, where during her tenure, she became involved in legal battles with Ronald Reagan, INCLUDING keeping her seat when Reagan attempted to remove her from the board. ( Sally Gates, are you listening?) AND banging on fellow African American Clarence M Pendleton Jr, when he tried to fall in line with Reagan’s social and civil rights views that pissed off the liberals and feminists. (Checks the date. MAN, y’all Republicans been pissing off liberals and feminists for a long ass time)
4. Co-founded the Free South Africa Movement, dedicated to the abolition of apartheid in South Africa. (1984)
5. Took a tenured chair at the University of Pennsylvania, while continuing to serve on the Civil Rights Commission. (1993)
a. She was also appointed chair of the Civil Rights Commission by President Bill Clinton, who reappointed her for another term in 1999.
6. She also wrote NINE books. (When the hell she have time to do that?! I can’t even get these effing facts out on time.)

And unlike Frederick Douglass, she’s still alive! According to her website, “As Berry continues her research, writing and activism, she insists that each generation has the responsibility to make a dent in the wall of injustice.”

Guess that means we better get crackin’!

*No. I’m not in charge of them. But let’s face it, you never want to be on the wrong side of the person who makes sure you get paid.

 

It’s ‘cause black people LOVE music. Probably as much as we love watermelon.
(well, cept Nesto, hater of watermelon, but eater of pig’s feet.)
*shudders and makes gagging noises*

BUT. In my case BOTH OF THE ABOVE THINGS ARE TRUE.
And I raised my kids to love these things too.
Music and Watermelon, that is. Pig’s feet are gross.
My kids have excellent musical tastes.
I will concede this isn’t JUST me. Nesto loves all the music tings too.

So anyways, when Spanky told me that I should give Chance the Rapper a listen, I did. Because, while we don’t always agree on what’s good and what’s not ( I will never forgive you for Pain and Gain, little girl. EVER), she knows my musical taste well enough to able to provide me with musical suggestions from time to time. And I would like you to know three things:

1. If you haven’t listened to Coloring Book (and you like hip hop), you should.
2. Chance The Rapper made Grammy history by becoming the first artist (black, white, or whatever) to win for a streaming-only album release.
3. Turns out rapping isn’t all Chance does. Looks like praise is what he does too.
a. I promise that’s a different song.
b. WOO. That Tamela Mann. Come through, liturgical latex!!
c. Yes. I already know I’m going to hell.

Happy Monday, guys!

FEBRUARY STILL AIN’T HERE AND I’M SENDING OUT FACTS LIKE WHY DON’T YOU JUST SAVE THESE FOR BLACK HISTORY MONTH, DAMN.

Well, guys:
1. You signed up for this. And?
2. I do what I want.

Also. I felt like we could probably use some time to NOT think about the current state of events and go back to a simpler time.
A time when people were loud and proud and racist as opposed to quiet and fake and racist America was great.

ANYWAYS.

I could lead in with a story about how my kids have gone to all kinds of schools (military and civilian) and the only time there was a (military) police presence was after 9/11 but honestly when you live on a military installation seeing guys with weapons isn’t as scary as it would be in other situations especially when you know that they’re there for your protection and safety from OUTSIDE (as in, out of the country) harm. I could also comment how in 2001 Spanky was 5 years old. And even as it happened I couldn’t believe that I was sending my baby girl off to kindergarten that had armed guards. Though, tbh, I had no doubt that my babies were safe as they could possibly be smack dab in the middle of a Marine Corps base. (something something, “When death smiles at Marines, Marines smile back.” Hey did you know they just had a birthday? Number 241. Yes. You get all kinds of random information in my facts of the day. Once a Marine wife, ALWAYS a Marine wife. You’re welcome)

BUT. I’m not gonna do that. Because I can’t think of one single way to link these two stories of fear together.

I’m just going to say that TODAY in 1960, six year old Ruby Bridges was escorted by federal marshals escorted her into William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans. And that she needed federal marshals to protect her from protesters who were none too pleased with racial integration [of schools] and that immigrants Muslims black children would be learning alongside white children.

So that’s today’s random story of the day. No lead in. No smart ass comments about how this is post racial america and thank God we don’t need US Marshals to escort students to school because we had a black president for 8 damn years and if we can do that we can all just breathe a sigh of relief because what racism?

Or, nah?

There is so much to do in LA*. SO MUCH!

But I don’t get to do any of it this weekend.
Because I’m going to get drunk have a mini-reunion in Vegas with my cousins.
Which is awesome ‘cause I don’t know if you know this but my family is sofa king awesome. (woo! Work filters gonna have to WORK to catch them curse words today)
This shouldn’t be a surprise at all because…have we met? I had to get it from somewhere
OK. I haven’t really met ALL of y’all, but MOST of y’all. But you must’ve heard about me ‘cause how did you get here? (Not sorry!)
Also, I’m kiddin’. I’m glad you’re here. And you better be too. ‘Cause you don’t get to quit me.

ANYWAYS.

Because I care (AND because you don’t get to choose the lead ins) lemme tell y’all ‘bout some stuff you can do in LA If you’re around this weekend and don’t have stuff to get into:

Friday: You can go to the Music Center and they have dance lessons and DJs for freeeee!
Saturday: Cinespia is showing Sabrina (one of my faves) at Hollywood Forever. I mean, yeah, it’s at a Cemetery, AND now that the hipsters know about it you gotta deal with a bunch of kids with weird mustaches eating fancy food/drinking PBR while talking about their fixie bikes. BUT. YOU get to bring in your own food and booze and with enough liquor even hipsters are tolerable, so there’s that.
Sunday: MLK Sit-In. Also free.

Why am I talking about a protest on this lovely summer afternoon?
(And here y’all were thinkin’ that it’s not February and there’s no BHFOTD but in typical “I have lots of work to do, so lemme take this time to drop some history on y’all” fashion, HERE I AM)

I wanted to tell you that TODAY in 1917, Between 8,000 and 10,000 African-Americans marched down 5th Avenue in New York City in a protest known as The Silent Parade.

*CLEARS THROAT*

The purpose of the parade was to protest lynching and anti-black violence. The parade was precipitated by the East St. Louis Riots in May and July 1917, when between 40 and 250 blacks were killed by white mobs.
The ferocious brutality of the attacks and the failure of the authorities to protect innocent lives contributed to the radicalization of many blacks in St. Louis and the nation.

Men, women, and children carried placards that read:
“MOTHER, DO LYNCHERS GO TO HEAVEN?; “GIVE ME A CHANCE TO LIVE”; “TREAT US SO THAT WE MAY LOVE OUR COUNTRY”; “MR. PRESIDENT, WHY NOT MAKE AMERICA SAFE FOR DEMOCRACY?; AND “YOUR HANDS ARE FULL OF BLOOD.”

July 28

My bad. THESE are the photos from 1917.

Silent Protest

The march was organized by an ad-hoc group formed at St. Philip’s Church in Harlem. James Weldon Johnson was a key organizer of the “Negro Silent Protest Parade.”
As the protesters marched silently down 5th Avenue, Boy scouts distributed fliers from the NAACP.

NAACP literature outlined the objectives and goals of the march:
We march because by the Grace of God and the force of truth, the dangerous, hampering walls of prejudice and inhuman injustices must fall.
We march because we want to make impossible a repetition of Waco, Memphis, and East St. Louis, by arousing the conscience of the country and bringing the murders of our brothers, sisters, and innocent children to justice.
We march because we deem it a crime to be silent in the face of such barbaric acts.
We march because we are thoroughly opposed to Jim-Crow Cars, Segregation, Discrimination, Disfranchisement, Lynching, and the host of evils that are forced on us. It is time that the Spirit of Christ should be manifested in the making and execution of laws.
We march because we want our children to live in a better land and enjoy fairer conditions than have fallen to our lot.

If I were into commentary (and I’m not, OBVIOUSLY) I’d talk about how in June of 2012, there was AGAIN a somewhat silent protest on 5th Ave to protest NYPD’s stop and frisk policies, which the organizers say single out minority groups and create an atmosphere of martial law for the city’s black and Latino residents. OR I’d talk about how many protests, and marches there have been after every murder of black people that basically state the same thing but almost 100 (99, if we’re gonna get exact) years later.

But yannow. I’m not. I’m just here so y’all learn some stuff about black history.

BLM

Nah. This one isn’t from 1917 either. But I guess it coulda been.

 

*note: I occasionally send BHFOTD emails randomly throughout the year. This one was originally sent on 7/28, but I got enough requests to blog it that I gave in to the harassment. HERE Y’ALL GO. Just be aware you missed all the fun stuff I mentioned because it was all last week.

I was a VERY busy lady. VERY.
Sorry you ain’t get a fact on Friday, but not really sorry because it was the start of my vacation!
And lemme tell y’all. Sometimes I need vacations from my vacations.
Because I be doing a lot. I WAS NOT ALONE IN MY EXTRANESS.

I was in Oakland for the weekend!
I went up because The Boy had a show Saturday, and I am nothing if not a supportive mother fucker who loves to go to concerts
I went with my sissie and my cousin. Because they’ve never been up to see him play a show.
I’m biased, of course, but I still say he’s pretty damn good.

BUT.

Here’s the thing about traveling to the Bay:
I have a lot of friends there.
And when I can, I try to cram seeing everybody into one trip.
So! Meet some for Dinner. Sommore for Lunch.
OH. You say you have a thingy that’s sorta local? Sign me up.
[Do I know the way to San Jose? I do. Now]

Anyways.

It was interesting. Because I got to see one of my BFFs doing her workshit*
And I’ll be honest, she’s kinda amazing at her workshit [don’t forget about the work filters! I never do]
And so for a couple hours, I listened to her and some people talk about smoking, and e-cigarettes.
I’m sure you’re not surprised at all to hear that I have opinions about things that affect black people.
Especially how for tobacco companies SPECIFICALLY targeted black folks in its advertisements and promotional efforts for menthol cigarettes, which are more addictive than other types of cigarettes.

But I’m not here to talk about that. I’m here to talk about don’t challenge ME to find an obscure fact during black history month because I will most certainly find one
Dr Louis Wade Sullivan, first black intern at New York Hospital, and founding dean and director of the Medical Education Program at Morehouse College in 1975.
Who in 1981, became Dean and President when, the school became independent from Morehouse College and was renamed Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM), making it the first minority medical school founded in the United States in the twentieth century.
AND THEN. In 1989 Sullivan was appointed by U.S. president George H. W. Bush to lead the nation’s policy efforts and champion the health and welfare of the country as Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Among his efforts to improve the health and health behavior of Americans were the public education program focused on the health dangers from tobacco use (including the successful efforts to prevent the introduction of “Uptown,” a non-filtered, mentholated cigarette),

Dr Sullivan returned to Morehouse School of Medicine in 1993, serving as president until his retirement on July 1, 2002, and remains a member of the school’s board of trustees. In 2003 he was elected as a trustee of the National Health Museum, and serves on the boards of Medical Education for South African Blacks, Africare, Southern Center for International Studies, and Association for Academic Health Centers, and on the editorial board of Minority Health Today. He has also served on the boards of several national corporations.

In 2014 Sullivan published his autobiography, Breaking Bad Ground: My Life in Medicine, with the University of Georgia Press. In the book’s foreword, his friend Andrew Young notes that “Sullivan remains one of the medical world’s wisest and most inspirational public voices.”
And with that, here ends the month (plus extra Leap day!) of Black People doing cool shit that you didn’t know about probably because you have no idea how deep I had to dig for that fact.
See you next year kids! Or yannow, whenever I decide to write a “fancy” fact for y’all. Or myself.
Until then, anytime you’re looking for an interesting fact about shit Black folks have done that you didn’t know Black folks do, DO YOUR GOOGLES. The internet is FREEEEE!

 

 

*hey! Do you live in California? Check out Em’s workshit. And then maybe think about voting for it. Maybe. If you’re into that kinda thing.

Have you guys seen this making the rounds?

Of course you have. Because that tiny lady in blue is 106 years old.
And for Black History Month, Virginia McLaurin was invited to the White House to meet our first
(and probably only in my lifetime at least) Black President and his equally Black First Lady.
Whew. So much progress in one picture.

I mean… Ms. Virginia was born in 1909
As a child growing up in the South, she said she didn’t imagine that there could ever be a world where white and black people were integrated.
“This was white and this was black. There were so many things we weren’t allowed to do, we were raised up like that,” she said.
“I felt like it would always be that way.”

Hmm. If I were the kind of person who provided commentary, I would comment that there are people who are fighting like hell RIGHT NOW to return to the “Bad Old Days”
But. I’m not. I’m just here to provide Black History Facts.

Which. That wasn’t. The actual BHFOTD is about Booker Taliaferro Washington.
Taliaferro, huh? I had no idea.

Booker T. was the first African American to be invited to the White House for dinner.
In the autumn of 1901, Booker T. Washington was on a speaking tour.
In Mississippi, he received a telegram from President Theodore Roosevelt.

The telegram asked Washington to come to the capitol for a conference.
When Washington arrived, he received an invitation to dine with the President.
According to Roosevelt biographer, Edmund Morris (author of The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt),
the dinner proceeded “behind closed doors, under the disapproving gaze of a negro butler”.
[Whatever, Uncle Ruckus]

Y’all. White people LOST THEIR COLLECTIVE SHIT.
The next day, the Memphis-Scimitar reported: The most damnable outrage which has ever been perpetrated by a citizen of the United States was committed by the President,
when he invited a nigger to dine with him at the White House…

AND THEN. A U.S. Senator from South Carolina proposed a retaliatory measure:
“The action of President Roosevelt in entertaining that nigger will necessitate our killing a thousand niggers in the South before they will reach their place again.”

[Thinks about prison pipeline, and cops unnecessarily killing black people at a higher rate than any other race]
[Still makes no comment]
[Not even that it seems like some people are still pretty intent on putting black folks “in their place”]

For the remainder of his term as U.S. President (1901-1908), Theodore Roosevelt was never again to invite a black person to dinner at the White House.
However, Roosevelt later stated on the issue of race something that would later be echoed, albeit in his own words, by Martin Luther King Jr. Roosevelt stated:

“…the only wise and honorable and Christian thing to do is to treat each black man and each white man strictly on his merits as a man, giving him no more and no less than he shows himself worthy to have.”

And it turns out when you do that, we end up here.
And you end up with Republicans racists AGAIN losing their collective shit because you put a Black man in the White House twice
And since (in theory) you can’t just go ‘round killing up black folks until they “reach their place”, they’re just gonna try to vote in the most racist person since Hitler into Office.
[But I’m not makin’ no comments though]

So this weekend was Oscar Movie Madness you guys.
Even though I feel some kind of way about the fact that the Oscars would like to pretend that there were no viable black candidates for Oscar nominations,
Oscar Movie Madness (OMM for short) is tradition. And includes booze, food things, card games, and me in pajamas on Lex’s couch all weekend.
AND! Because my friends love me they added movies that SHOULDA been best picture noms, but weren’t: Creed and Straight Outta Compton.
10/10 Recommend them both.

BUT! Both movies DID receive other Oscar nominations:
Creed (Best Supporting Actor): The (white) co-star.
Straight Outta Compton(Best Original Screenplay): The (white) writers.
With an extra FUCK YOU to the CAST who were NOT invited to the Award Show.
I mean, I could talk about how hard you gotta reach to find a non-black person to nominate in some of the blackest movies ever.
But I won’t. Because my boss is not here today, so I’m super busy and don’t have time to go on a 17-point Kanye-style rant.

Anyways.
We were supposed to play Cards Against Humanity afterwards. Because we were supposed to finish early-ish.
But we didn’t. Things happen.
Have you guys every played that game? It’s like apples to apples. Only, imagine that nothing is sacred.
For INSTANCE – I played the winning card for this fill in the blank:

But before I kill you, Mr. Bond, I must show you ________.

CAH

And with that, let’s get to the BHFOTD about the owner of said vagina:
Toni Morrison. Novelist, editor, and Professor Emeritus at Princeton University
First African American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature

Ta-daaaaa! I’ll see myself out. And I’ll see y’all tomorrow.

So this one time a favorite patient gave me tickets to see the Foo Fighters when they were doing their acoustic tour at the Pantages.
[I bet some of you were wondering was I gonna manage to sneak my favorite band into a BHFOTD. Don’t I always?]
It was amazing. As usual. And fun.
Afterwards, I somehow got separated from my concert buddy and I was looking for her and somehow I wandered back to the “industry party”
And as I was looking around trying to figure out why I’m standing next to rock stars and other people who looked appropriately rock and roll,
I realized that I was NOT supposed to be there.
Strangely enough though, nobody ever said anything at all to the random person just walking around not looking very rock star at all.
[I’ve found that if you are ever “the only” of a person, people just assume you belong there because why ELSE would you be there, sore thumb?]
[Except that one time that me and a friend crashed a BET pre-party for the Grammys. We definitely got kicked out of there]
[Which is kinda weird because I was DEFINITELY not the only black person. But I guess I was the only one who had a lunch bag. And a work badge]
Which is COMPLETELY unlike the one time Nesto wandered into a place he didn’t belong.
The story as I heard it:
“This club had two rooms: one that played top 40 (which was the best this little club could do) and the country western music room.
I went over to the other room because I wanted to see what kind of music they played in there.
When I walked in, it was like a record scratch:
A bunch of dudes, complete with cowboys hats all turned around in unison to look at me.
I could actually HEAR the nooses fall to the floor.”
This was before yelp, obviously.
I mean, how do you rate that?
“Mixed crowd on one side; Klan rally on the other. 3 out of 5 stars.
Extra star because it was the only civilian bar you could go that played something besides country”

I should also mention this was 1990-something.
Not 1960.
Because THEN he could’ve bought The Negro Motorist Green Book
What’s that, you ask?

WELL. The Green Book, as it was called, was an annual guidebook for African-American road trippers.
It was originated and published by New York City mailman Victor H. Green during the Jim Crow era, when open and often legally prescribed discrimination against non-whites was widespread.

Although pervasive racial discrimination and black poverty limited ownership of cars among African Americans, the emerging black middle class became car owners.
Many black folks took to driving, in part to avoid segregation on public transportation. As the writer George Schuyler put it in 1930,
“all Negroes who can do so purchase an automobile as soon as possible in order to be free of discomfort, discrimination, segregation and insult.”

AND.

Until long after the Civil Rights era (1955–1968), black travelers in the United States faced major problems to which most whites were oblivious. [quelle surprise!] White supremacists had long sought to restrict black mobility. As a result, simply going for a drive was potentially a dangerous undertaking for black people.
They were subjected to racial profiling by police departments (“Driving While Black”), faced being punished for being seen as “uppity” or “too prosperous” if they were driving a car (an act that many whites regarded as a white prerogative), and risked harassment or worse on and off the highway.
Black Americans employed as athletes, entertainers, and salesmen also traveled frequently for work purposes and faced a variety of dangers and inconveniences, such as:
• white-owned businesses refusing to serve them or repair their vehicles
• being refused accommodation or food by white-owned hotels,
• threats of physical violence and forcible expulsion from whites-only “sundown towns”

Green founded and published The Negro Motorist Green Book to tackle such problems, compiling resources “to give the Negro traveler information that will keep him from running into difficulties, embarrassments and to make his trip more enjoyable.” While the Green Book was intended to make life easier for those living under Jim Crow, its publisher looked forward to a time when such guidebooks would no longer be necessary. As Green wrote, “there will be a day sometime in the near future when this guide will not have to be published. That is when we as a race will have equal opportunities and privileges in the United States. It will be a great day for us to suspend this publication for then we can go as we please, and without embarrassment.

*taps foot and looks at watch*
*stares off into the distance and continues to wait*

Anyways.

The 1966 edition was the last to be published after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 made the guide effectively obsolete, by outlawing racial discrimination in public accommodations.

And since racial discrimination was outlawed, we were all free to move about the country.
I’m not even gonna crack a joke about racial profiling.

I’m just gonna say WOO! Post racial America! Fuck you Yeah!

“Black History Month, or National African American History Month, is an annual celebration of achievements by black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in U.S. history.”
[Aside from that whole building THIS ENTIRE COUNTRY from the ground up, BY FORCE]
[That last part wasn’t in the “official blurb” of the website I looked it up from. But. I mean…]

If you haven’t already figured out how I roll during Black History month,
I am not likely to mention:
Slavery
Martin Luther (the) King Jr, aside from his own special day that is NOT in February
Harriet Tubman
George Washington Carver, and not just because I HATE PEANUTS
Blah blah blah…slaves…blah blah blah Harriet Tubman..yakety smakety MLK Jr (and MAYBE Malcolm X if your teacher was edgy), and Peanuts*!
I won’t mention them because there is SO MANY MORE Black people to mention.
People are STILL making Black History because Black people have been purposely kept out and we are just NOW kicking the doors in to places that were closed whether they want us there or not.

ALSO.
If I’m gonna be honest, which I pretty much always am (and serious, but not for long so don’t get used to it) America (and other countries, but I’m American, so I’m only CURRENTLY talmbout where I live) has treated  its Black people horribly unless laws get passed to make them stop in which case they try to figure out a way to go around and has a terrible habit of pretending slavery couldn’t possibly be as bad as the stories passed down from actual Black people through generations have described it to be.
But it was. Ain’t no way to church that up to make it more pleasant. It is a thing that happened. And America did it.
And while I prefer to keep my e-mails lighthearted, don’t ever think I have no idea where I come from.
Anyways. The moral of this story is… slavery was awful, and not at all funny.
So if I go to an Exhibit (still open folks! and still free!) that contains history about The Middle Passage
And they show how slaves were stacked in ships.
AND they show how much space each slave was allotted
(a man was given a space of 6 feet by 1 foot 4 inches; a woman 5 feet by 1 foot 4 inches and girls 4 feet 6 inches by 1 foot)

[In case you were interested, and even if you weren’t, I’m 5’4. YES I AM, GUYS]

how high
AND THEN I ask my friend to take a picture because I knew at some point I was going to use this for a BHFOTD
[Is now a good time to mention that this part of History makes me super angry and I HATE HAVING EMOTIONS?]
[Because WOW America you guys do have done some really shitty things]

DO NOT EVER IN YOUR LIFE TELL ME TO SMILE IN MY MOTHERFUCKING PICTURE.
[The face of a person who is trying not to squirrel jump some asshole who is trying to tell me what to do]
[I would like to take this time to thank God for reminding me that I don’t have time to go to jail because I have plans and thangs, none of which include fighting somebody for cornbread]

And that’s it for today’s Black History [because we did not do this to ourselves] Fact of the Day.
** I don’t want you to go away all sad and mopey because Black History is not always amusing, So I’ll tell you a completely ridiculous story about Peanuts!
I ran into my brother and his family at the Ren Faire (2 more months, you guys!) and they have a 17+ section. Where they were singing bawdy songs because of COURSE THEY WERE!
And because my brother wasn’t paying attention, so he took his daughters (all under the age of 10) over to listen to the songs.
And then he came back TOUT DE SUITE.
Me: That was fast.
Him: IT WASN’T KID FRIENDLY.
When he realized it, he brought them back but not before the oldest could ask, “What did they just say?”
Him: PEANUTS. LET’S GO.