Let Freedom Ring – Flocabulary Rap
“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.”
These are the words of Martin Luther King Jr. It’s easy to read these words and allow them to go in one eye and out the other. Change? Who has the time? As a nation we have dedicated this month to prominent black Americans. This distinction between blacks and whites brings about both a curse and a blessing. Black history “month” as a concept is rather misleading. It would seem that representing blacks shows the innovation and the maturity of our society – but this is one month out of the year and many people only recognize Martin Luther King day – a day out of the year. To take a month out of the year to “celebrate” black Americans when the rest of the year is spent in the glorification of white history seems to present some sort of disconnect? There is no such thing as “White History month” because it simply fills the rest of the nation’s holidays (Presidents Day, Columbus Day, etc.) but what is this point of this “realization” you might ask. Black history month as a notion is, as stated earlier both a blessing and curse, it shows both the worst and best of our society.
Only today, as I sat in our school assembly watching a program titled “African Discovery through Music,” did I realize how unknowledgeable I am about African and African American history. I’ve spent years in school and yet I didn’t know that on the Underground Railroad slaves’ sewed secret messages to one another; hanging blankets with these messages in front of their masters. Information which seems so trivial has the most bearing in today’s society. Gospel, Jazz, R&B, Soul, so many genres have come from the black population and yet this is not something which is actively thought of. Credit has not been given where it is due and programs similar to this are able to bring out this. Though my years of school I have learned that blacks were slaves, they were emancipated in 1863, and other facts about slaves and African-Americans; almost always in relation to the white population. What new acts and legislature the government had created to give African-Americans better lives, how the whites oppressed the blacks, how the whites reacted to the increasing equality of African Americans. Idealists and the naive seem to believe that that by saying that someone is equal, they really are. Programs similar to “African Discovery through Music” do just what has evaded us as a concept. They do not portray African-Americans as people who “need” a holiday for recognition – they simply acknowledge just how much legitimate bearing African culture has in our ever day lives; through something that we can all relate to; music. Though African-Americans have been continual victims of the system it is imperative to recognize that they are no lesser than anyone; and I think that this program did just that. Just food for thought. Check out Wincyco (the company responsible for the “African Discovery through Music) at their website or on Twitter!