Black History Month is a time for celebration of heritage. It’s 28 days that our ancestors’ stories and struggles are shared in schools, media and communities. But, as with most things these days, it’s been appropriated, mangled and spoon-fed to us without the rich flavor and spice. Bland.
Over the past few decades, we have seen conservatives distort our legacies of struggle, erase the disproportionate impact of their policies, and co-opt our victories — remember Glenn Beck’s attempt to reclaim the civil rights movement from those who have “distorted” it? More recently and preposterously, the Christian right and some groups on the left have been whitewashing black history in the movement for women’s autonomy — even using it and our children against us without our full consent. They’ve rewritten history to the point that many believe our ancestors were fervently antiabortion, and still would be today. We’ve allowed them to change the legacy of our leaders, and it’s time we take it back. It’s time we tell our own stories.