Lemme tell ya little something bout Black History
Christopher Brummer posits the question, “Is Hip Hop worthy of Black History Month?” I suppose his rationale should be obvious, all the posturing and misogyny and fake violence has rendered rap a cancer rather than a salve. You’ve all heard the arguments before. So in light of this, Brummer was troubled by a radio program that would salute “hip hop pioneers” in a celebration of Black History.
When I first read the post, I had an instinctually negative reaction. I couldn’t put my finger on it until I read a comment that called Brummer’s post elitist. Now, that’s not the word I was searching for. I was thinking, short sighted. First, I understand, that especially to card carrying members of the Black Bourgeoisie like Brummer and myself, Black History Month (Week when I was a lad) was always about firsts; who invented what, who was the first to do what, who freed our people. We looked at some posters of African kings (Egyptians tossed in for the Afrocentrists) and that was it.
Yet, it says “History” in the title. I see it right there. Black History. History is the study of past events. It isn’t the study of past events that promote the general good and to the exclusion of what we don’t like (which is of course the reason for having a Black History Month in the first place, so that “they” cannot exclude what they don’t think important). There aren’t a whole lot of developments in recent African American history bigger than the global takeover/influence by/of hip hop culture. Not to acknowledge this because of Ying Yang Twins and Rich Boy and Polow would be worse than keeping the Hit King out of the Hall because of a few gambling indiscretions.
We celebrate our heroes fanfare, however, to have an honest discussion about history, we acknowledge their folly. A discussion about the things we don’t like about hip hop culture is essential to any discussion about Black history, recent or long-standing.
Run DMC once did a song about Black History Month on some TV show, the song was never released on a record. Youtube failed me this time, or I would have had the clip up in this post. That’s where the post’s title originates, from my fuzzy memory.