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February 22, 2024

  • Danez Smith at AWP
    Richard Saker/Contour by Getty Images As we end Black History Month, here is one of my favorite poets, Danez Smith, who writes on intersectionality between their Black and Queer identities. At the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) conference in Kansas City, MO, I had the opportunity to personally meet Smith, and they are […]
  • Lying in Memoir
    Lauren Slater crafts diligent, depictive metaphors in narrative, and I hate her writing, simultaneously. Should there be lying in memoir? In her book, Lying: A Metaphorical Memoir (2000), Slater crafts lies from epilepsy to nunneries to doctor visits and proposed peer reviewed theses to AA meetings. However, within these lies, she allows us to question […]
Spring Housing Guide

One month isn’t good enough

By Brianne Sanford U-Wire Columnist Daily Trojan University of Southern California

February brings with it a rush of advertisements for Black History Month.

All I can do is fight anger with laughter that such a month exists. I am tired of participating in society’s attempts to make the ruling majority feel better under the guise of doing justice for those not in power. In order for any progress to be made, people need to be real with each other – so let me tell you why I hate Black History Month.

That Americans do not include the contributions of blacks under the umbrella of “American history” implies that those contributions do not count as American history. Last time I checked, plenty of people were using light bulbs, eating peanut butter and stopping at traffic lights.

The fact that the achievements of these Americans can’t always be found in one’s high school textbook is a disgrace.

People like to refer to slavery as a stain on America’s otherwise immaculate past, but the truth is that America has not and cannot wash away the stain, which continues to spread every year that we celebrate Black History Month.

Not only is the existence of Black History Month ridiculous, but it falls on the shortest and usually coldest month of the year.

Bottom line: If you think Black History Month is some type of recompense for slavery, then you are wrong and ignorant.

If that’s what you have to do to feel better about the past, then more power to you, but ignorance can no longer be used as an excuse.

Some complain that Black History Month is racist, because you shouldn’t have one month dedicated to one race.

Therefore, among others, the following items should be banned outside of February: traffic lights, electric lamps, mailboxes, gas masks, fountain pens, typewriters, telegraphs, plows, automatic gear shifts, toilets, crop rotation, dry cleaning, cataract lens surgery, blood banks and Washington, D.C.

If we are going to ignore these inventions as part of American history, then non-black Americans shouldn’t be able to profit from them.

Also, everyone must learn about other blacks who contributed to America besides the usual big three: Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks and Harriett Tubman.

This year’s Black History Month will actually be the 80th anniversary of what started out as Negro History week in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson.

He invented this celebration to help educate others because of the lack of coverage that was given in American history books.

I am sure he would be more than impressed with how far we have come – from one week to four weeks, from little to no coverage in textbooks to … oh wait, that’s right, some things never change.

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