2022 Black History Analysis

February 17, 2022

It is February and Black History Month in the USA. Many African Americans complain that their history month, February, is the shortest month of the year. This is a true statement, but since when can beggars be choosy? It’s time to take a Frank look at the 2022 African American in order to decide if the race has progressed or digressed.

Slavery in the USA was abolished on paper in 1865. Let’s examine the 2022 African American’s status and see how it matches up with slavery. We will use quotes from To Be A Slave, written by Julius Lester to assist. “Just stay near the white folks and I would have nothing to worry about,” according to Edward Taylor. Taylor said this because of misplaced faith and the unusual cruelty of his era. Yet, in 2022 how many African Americans believe this concept? How many professional negroes race to white suburbs to be next to white folks? How many parents send their children to schools where the majority of the students are white? How many African Americans choose white folks as love interests because they feel safer and respected? You can understand Taylor because the USA was different in his time. Or was it?

Moving on with our analysis, let’s look at the prize buck, the male slave. A slave who could perform any service, from fighting to running the plantation, was of high value. Naturally, the goal of many slaves was to impress the master in order to get some perks on the plantation. “I could run faster, wrestle better, and jump higher than anybody about me…” – Josiah Henson. Henson was born in slavery, so it’s understandable that he would be exploited. Why then is the 2022 African American male still running and jumping? How so, you ask? In organizations, like the NBA, NFL, MLB, and WWE. The African American female has been ensnared via the WNBA. Don’t mention the money factor. Everyone knows the money any athlete is paid is pocket lint to the amount the team owners make. In slavery the prize buck got the choice shack and pick of the women, after master took his turn.

Henson eventually became superintendent, then overseer of the plantation. Henson was even tasked with taking the other slaves to Kentucky without his master, or any white person. On the way, Henson and the other slaves passed along the Ohio shoreline. People told the Henson party that they were in Ohio and were free. Henson ordered the boat to keep going ensuring master’s property made it to Kentucky. In 2022, how many African Americans are enforcing laws or acting as an agent for whites? How many African Americans have come to covet the positions that the 2022 master has bestowed upon them? How many African Americans will oppress other African Americans and fight to keep white society standing? In 2022 master continues to let his chattel run the show in various forms. Upper management positions, coaches in all sports, education, law enforcement, government, are some key examples of Master’s benevolence.

It is Black History Month. How will this yearly celebration look in future years? Many people say that to celebrate or tell the Black experience in the USA puts white people in a negative light. With this kind of thought being put into society, will African Americans abandon their token history month to appease the whites? In 2022 African Americans are at levels of society the slaves could never have imagined. Yet, what has changed? Are African Americans truly free? Are they an independent people who control their own destiny and minds? Have African Americans become everything they abhorred in the past because many don’t know history? Look around and watch TV, then say the answers to the previous questions to yourself.

One final quote from, To Be A Slave. “The native Africans are revengeful in their tempers… They generally place little, or no value upon the fine houses… and discover no beauty in the fair complexions of their mistress… and only want power to inflict the most cruel retribution on their oppressors.” – Charles Ball.

Frank James IV © 2022

The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the writer and not of the Milwaukee Times Weekly Newspaper or HTGroup LLC, its staff or management. “Being Frank” is a bi-weekly column exclusive to the Milwaukee Times Weekly Newspaper.