My Black History Month Playlist
Indulge with caution
It’s Black History Month. We are tasked with celebrating everything and everyone that gives this very short period the relevance it deserves. The recognizable names of figures that stood for something and even died for the sake of humanity always filter through.
The timetable of events never deviates from the standard fare.
For me, this time of year has evolved over time and experience. Being Black in America doesn’t resemble my assigned definition from twenty-years ago. Back then, I identified as a Nigerian-American which created an unconscious distance from a community that I am now fiercely protective of and proud to recognize.
My political stance has been reshaped to accommodate the complexity of maturing which demands a level of awareness that can be blissfully enlightening and sometimes dishearteningly alarming.
In the past three years, the racial divide in America, while maintaining its everlasting grip without danger of slipping — has grimly lifted to a higher plateau. White police officers are tasked with the power to mistreat Black people at will with little or no consequences.
The implementation of Black Lives Matter was a necessary response to a chaotic climate that hasn’t yet dissipated.
The fight continues. The struggle remains. The dead are remembered while the living celebrate an existence that is marred by the fact that there is still a valid reason why we must prove with all our might that our lives do matter.
I have spent an impressive amount of time curating pieces that depict my frustration and utter disgust for a system that was callously designed to brutalize the lives of marginalized people in such an organic way that allows such practice to be an acceptable code of conduct.
As protests against Trump’s menacing presence in The White House continues to flow — it’s hard not be somewhat bitter when you consider the crowds who righteously and defiantly denounce the abhorrence in the air.
It’s cool to be a part of a media event when it’s sponsored by the elite and coupled with the assurance of a non-violent clause.
But, when they march for the sake of Blackness — over the bloody trails that still encrypt the streets and the body marks that serve as the reminder of how a 12-year-old boy was shot in the stomach and left for dead — the stench of this political cause is somehow only reserved for those who have way more to lose.
Black History Month is for all Americans, especially since we are embodying a time that elevates the degree of discrimination that blatantly surpasses the hallmarks of White and Black.
As I go through my roster of offerings — there is evidence that I had a lot to be concerned about, and as I paid extra attention to the responses it was also clear how fragile the human spirit can be when it comes to processing a national crisis — that we seemingly can’t control no matter which side of the fence we claim.
Here are the tracks that I added to my playlist for the purpose of this month and every month after— including the ones beyond that will surely feature another senseless death and a helpless child watching in horror as the future is depicted with no filters.