The Month of February

The Month of February

by Lee McCoy
March on Washington participants and leaders marching from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial Photo: Rowland Scherman, U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

Sometimes you have to be late for work. It can be because of a lot of things, like Valentine’s Day. Cupid’s supposed to fire his arrow but he shouldn’t miss me. Oh well, maybe next time. We’ll see.

But as I write this it’s also black history month when the wind is cold. It couldn’t have been when it’s warm outside, when black people like to go outside and barbecue. Oh well.

But when I think about black history I have so many different emotions. I think about how the country of Africa had slavery. So they had their own people enslaved. What was the price? I have no idea. I think about the slave ships that brought them across the whole ocean and they were packed in like sardines in a can. How many of them became shark bait? Because a lot of them didn’t survive and how many were just thrown overboard because they were a bit rebellious. I don’t know. I don’t know how many of them were really rebellious.

Good black slave women must’ve been the strongest people in the whole world. They were raped, their children were taken from them and sold to other slave owners. Our lives have been taken from us. Our culture, our customs, it was a lost art. All for the love of America. Some tried to escape to the north, where the dogs would chase them. Some made it, some were caught and were brought back to the slave owners. And as punishment they would cut off an ankle or put chains on them to keep them from running again.

When freed slaves were getting their papers for freedom sometimes they were just lost. What was the reason they still weren’t a part of America? It was a lot worse then. It was still, yes master. No sir, master. They couldn’t even drink water anywhere a white person would.

Think about the people who tried to make a difference like Rosa Parks who refused to move to the back of the bus just to name a few. I think of the ones who wanted to make a difference knowing there was a lot of bullets aimed at them, but they kept on doing what they thought was right. Malcolm X had been a pimp and a robber, but once he got caught he saw a purpose, even though he was fed to believe that all white men were white devils. On a trip back to Africa he saw there were many white people who believed the same thing that he believed. Martin Luther King Jr. said not to judge people by the color of their skin. That dream was real back in the day, but reality has been a nightmare to a lot of black people.

I used to hear my parents say that they would never see a black president in their lifetime and they had me believing that. I also never thought I’d see that either. I wish they could’ve seen that dream come true, but I have seen their dream and mine come true. Not one time, yes twice. And still they have tried to kill him a grand total of six times.

And we have our younger generation killing each other. Today you have people being killed over somethings that are silly. You have cops killing many black men and they have gotten away with it. It has come to the point where people are chanting ‘black lives matter’ but I also truly believe that all Iives do matter. One of the greatest commandments said that, “thou shalt not kill”.

Look at our prison system. You can look at the system for yourself. There are more black people who are jailed than white. Tell me if I am right or wrong. I have seen the prisons myself, firsthand.

I think about Medgar Evers who was in his own backyard when he was killed because he was trying to step up for equality. The Civil Rights movement’s been a long and hard battle that is still going on today. Has America started waking up or is it really what America is all about? I’m sure we all know that there are haves and the have-nots. How quickly we forget we are our brother’s keeper.