Black History Month is an odd experience in South Africa. Black people are constantly being reminded to forget about the past cos its a new South Africa. And yet everywhere you look, Black people are constantly being reminded of the past. Poverty, economic inequality, bad living conditions like shacks and townships, Black people more than any other group
No other group of people has undergone an assault more vicious than that levelled on Black people, over such an extensive period of time. 350 plus years. And even today, the yoke of burden still weighs strong on Black people. Racial feelings haven’t changed. Black people are ranked the lowest on everything, still exploited, still held in very low regard by every other race group on the earth. Its true.
The past will never leave us, especially if we keep on getting asked to forget about it. It will haunt us until we properly address it in the way we are meant to be addressing it. Many will argue that Black History Month is about celebrating Black people’s achievements and not regressing to a past of racial inequality. True. But part of making history, part of creating future achievements will come from how we were able to look back on injustices, call them up and talk about them as part of Black History Month. If we are able to bring those issues up and successfully resolve them through dialogue initiated by Black History Month, then that will be something historical in its own rights.