(start a rumor monday...)
black history month moved to january
31. january.2005--in an unfortunate mix up, unbeknownst to many, black history month had been moved to january, but details surrounding this change had been held up due to "glitches" in certain governmental legislation hastily passed by the house in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.
in june of 2004, dr. rand m. blackman, professor of africana studies at temple university, wrote and attempted to widely distribute an email notification that black history month would be moved from february to january. a copy of this email was obtained by fecundmellow:
to: undisclosed recipients
re: black history month
body: Peace and Blessings Brothers and Sisters,
In order to give our Forebearers the appropriate reverence they undoubtedly deserve, we intend to celebrate Black History Month in January, beginning in 2005.
In the name of Mother Africa,
Dr. Rand M. Blackman
of this decision blackman--known by many as kwame shabazz-- said, "other black intellectuals and i felt it necessary to move black history month from february to january--a month with all 31 days. it is not an accident that black history month has been consistently relegated to the shortest month in the entire calendar year. we will stand for it no longer. it takes 31 days to celebrate the accomplishments and successes of the glorious black man in this bablyon you all call the united states of america. (please spell america with three k's, sister summer)."
"well, professor blackman shabazz, it was my understanding that the reason why black history month has been continuously celebrated in february is because black history week (started by carter g. woodson) had been in february. when the week became so popular it was immediately expanded to a month. since the week had been in february, it simply seemed appropriate to keep the month-long celebration in february."
"can't you see, sister summer?" blackman replied, "that's what the white man wants you to think. the black man deserves 31 days, and the black man shall get 31 days."
most of the public did not know of this change until today, which is, since it is the last day of january, too late. the mass email that professor blackman sent in june to notify the (african american) public of the change had been intercepted and examined by the government, thereby limiting the number of people who actually received the email notification. it seems that the words "black" "history" and "month" tipped off government officials, who have taken the last three months to examine the content of the email, and verify whether or not it was the work of terrorists.
it should also be noted, however, that the delay was not entirely the government's fault. it seems that professor blackman's email provider, colrdpplstym.com, an african american owned and operated website, was about 3 months late in actually dispersing the email to its intended recipients. (at the time of the publication of this blog entry, no representative at colrdpplstym.com was available to comment. according to the company's voicemail, all executive are currently still at lunch.)
despite this time lag, it seems more than frightening that such an email was held up in the government's bureaucratic red tape for so long. one of these monitors--as they liked to be called--was willing to speak to fecundmellow, though he asks that his name be witheld. "listen, perhaps we did drop the ball on this one, but it's better to be safe than sorry. the words 'black' 'history' and 'month' combined with the fact that this email was sent to undisclosed recipients sparked our attention. the fact remains, you may have gotten the email late, but you got the email. maybe you all can celebrate next year."
"actually, sir, i still have yet to receive a copy of professor blackman's email. and i send emails to undisclosed recipients all the time. i always thought that was a common practice. what's the big deal?"
"the email was sent to all black people, and if you're black you should have received it by now. as for the emails to undisclosed recipients, we're watching your ass, too."
despite the mix-up, professor blackman and his colleagues were able to hold several celebrations earlier this month, and fortunately report no drop in attendance. "despite this country's attempt to thwart our efforts, we were able to successfully hold celebrations. the same number of black people who showed up to our events in february of 2004 showed up in january of 2005. just goes to show that you can't keep a black man down."
that it does. that it does.
(i still have yet to receive this email.)
language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no names. language alone is meditation. ~toni morrison