Wednesday, 29 February 2012
Its February (thankyou leap year)ok only just but I live in Britain and so not only have no obligation to celebrate the occasion (Britain of course being a nation totally devoid of racism and marginalisation as I'm sure you continental types are well aware) and it will still be February for a few more hours in the States.
But justifications aside I am celebrating this month regardless for several reasons, first there's alot of black people in the world and a good number of them have done and are doing noteworthy things, but due to most nations ethnocentric interests these are often overlooked and that is not only unfair it is also extremely ignorant. Second thanks to Imperialism much of "recent" history experienced by black people whether in American cities, Africa or the tropical islands has been dominated by one form of exploitation or another and resistance to it. And third a lot of that history is actually very impressive, take slavery, slavery is an abhorrent and ancient practice and naturally there have been many uprisings and escape attempts wherever it was practised, whose the most famous of these self emancipators? Spartacus of course, and while I don't which to knock the man or Kirk Douglas's portrayal of him in the film it should be remembered that he lost.
Toussaint L'Ouverture the man who led the Haitian's to freedom when they turned there tools into weapons was actually dubbed "Black Spartacus" by the French which given his success where Spartacus failed is a bit like calling the Gold medallist from Kenya in the Olympic 200m sprint the black (insert name of) guy who came second. Still given Spartacus's competition I think Marx's compliment that he was "the most splendid fellow in the whole of ancient history" is well deserved.
Anyway for a more cogent reason why this month matters and why Black History is something we all should celebrate and learn from, here is a commentary by Mumia Abu-Jamal.