In the U.S., Black History’s relegation to the shortest month of the year is a point of conversation in the Black community, every February. The appreciation of Carter G. Woodson’s petitioning for Negro History Week in 1926, which then turned into Black History Month in 1976, is not forsaken; however, I stand by the phrase “Every Month is Black History Month,” in that Black people are deserving of celebration every moment, every day, and every month. The history of Black Americans in America is indelibly intertwined with the construction of U.S. history—from its inception, until now.
Despite Black people’s numerous and invaluable contributions to this country, our history has still been re-written and sanitized for the dominant culture. Black culture and all of its contributions to music, film, fashion, literature, and scholarship are often White-washed or treated as secondary or as an “elective.” Further, our physical bodies (e.g. kinky hair, braids, locs, our skin) are still regulated in schools and places of business, and criminalized in the streets (e.g. police brutality, racial profiling).
In response to these things, and the highly acclaimed and anticipated weekend release of Marvel’s Black Panther being seen as “too Black,” (despite movies, commercials, TV shows, magazines covers, and all of everything being overwhelmingly White at all times), I decided that within my sphere of influence I wanted to challenge my Black friends and social media followers to join me in the hashtag: #BlackityBlackOut18.
The purpose of #BlackityBlackOut18 is not only to proudly proclaim ones Blackness in public spaces through dress as a form of resistance to dominant norms, but to also unify with other Black people that you may or may not know—all in the name of Black Pride.
Note: Make no mistake: Black people’s very audacity to exist is a form of resistance.
Operationalizing #BlackityBlackOut18 means whatever you want it to mean—whatever makes you feel proud to be who you are, where you’ve come from, and honoring our ancestors who risked their lives for us—despite living in a world that is hell-bent on keeping us subjugated in every facet of life.
Black people are not going anywhere, anytime soon; we won’t apologize if our Light blinds you this week, and every time we step into a space.
I invite all Black folks from the Diaspora to join us in #BlackityBlackOut18; post pics on social media and flex your melanin!