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€Time Machine: The Darkie Manifesto€

Michael Penn II | 2/25/2010, 7:44 p.m.

Even with these major examples, I still have miles to go before I reach the end of exemplary occasions which reinforce the importance of Black History Month. I could take you all to Washington, DC in 1963 with Dr. King delivering his €I Have a Dream€ speech. We could go to Montgomery, Alabama where Rosa Parks grew tired of giving in one afternoon and was arrested for not vacating a €Whites Only€ bus seat. I could take you to Election Night 2008, where Barack Obama stood in front of over 300,000 spectators in Hyde Park in his hometown of Chicago, after every news outlet projected that he became the President of the United States of America, marking the first African-American in that position. But if I were to continue on in such a manner, you would tell me that you€ve heard it all before.

What you ignore is that you€ve seen it all as well. Your eyes€ our eyes€ are those of history. We were slaves in those fields, we saw Dr. King deliver his speeches, and we saw Barack Obama win an election and spark change in a nation. We are built like our people, our ancestors, and my time travel should merely be a reminder. So to address critics of the question €Why is Black History Month Important?€€ I present these examples and illustrate our cause on this canvas I have printed. Black history is American history. We are forever indebted to all those before us, and we have the duty, the right and the privilege of continuing to spread and convey the history we are born with, in our genes and on our tongues, in our faces and on our minds. To not remember, contemplate and celebrate Black History is simply a disgrace to history itself. To conclude my plea to the world, I shall quote Carter G. Woodson: €At this moment, then, the Negroes must begin to do the very thing which they have been taught that they cannot do.€

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