Does Black History Month Actually Do More for White People?
It’s February and that means if it hasn’t already happened, your son or daughter will have you driving around at 9:30 at night trying to find a Super Walmart so you can stock up on posterboard, glue and copies of Essence, Ebony and Jet magazine. That’s because It’s Black History Month and your child has probably chosen Malcolm X, Jesse Owens or Rosa Parks to educate their classmates about how the way was paved for little black children today.
Actress, comedian and writer, Kerry Coddett doesn’t quite agree. “This may come as a shocker to some, but Black History Month is actually for white people,” she reveals in her Huffpost blog, A Gift For White People Celebrating Black History Month. The blog discusses the fact that the annual month of observance meant to commemorate important people and events in African-American culture is more about educating white people and making them feel a little less guilty about their reputation as our historical suppressors. Coddett suggests the month merely allows them the opportunity to empathize with many of the plights and struggles many African-Americans still presently face. And they get to empathize for a whole whopping 28 days.
Coddett pokes fun by giving a “gift” to white people in the form of a comedy short called “Blackertone”. The video is a fake commercial for a lotion called Blackertone which once used by white people causes them to turn into black people and as a result experience the same stereotypes and discrimination. The last few seconds even feature a voiceover that asks, “Are you tired of sitting on the sidelines while the tan girls have all the fun?” before cutting over to a group of African-Americans gyrating, shucking and jiving.
It reminds us of a few years ago when acting legend Morgan Freeman expressed his thoughts that the observance was dated and unnecessary. He commented in a 60 Minutes interview that Black History Month was more marginalizing than anything:
“You’re going to relegate my history to a month? I don’t want a black history month. Black history is American history.”
Do you think Coddett makes a good point in who Black History Month is actually serving anymore or is it hard for you to take her seriously? View the “Blackertone” commercial below: