Black History Month is a month rife with controversy. In past years (like during my youth in the 1990s), people treated Black History Month with quite a bit of reverence and seriousness. Or at least, the amount of history projects I’d have to do and the number of times Roots was shown on television seemed to give that impression.
Nowadays, a lot of the reverence seems to be gone. We’re not learning the official Black American anthem, “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” anymore, and Roots isn’t even shown on television all day every day like it was in my childhood. But despite the ups and downs, there’s always been the idea that Black History Month shouldn’t be contained within one month. Also many people felt (and feel) like we should be focusing on more modern achievements and new leaders apart from relearning the same stuff, like the now-cliched use of Langston Hughes poems and Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
Enter the hashtag #BlackFutureMonth. This hashtag is celebrating where and what we’ve come from, but it’s also celebrating where we’re going. Knowing where we’re going is just as important as knowing where we’ve been, right?
#BlackFutureMonth was created by The Huffington Post’s Black Voices and #BlackLivesMatter leaders to create a movement that honors what the black Diaspora is doing now to create a better world and a better, more unified black community.
Opal Tometi, the co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement writes that sometimes, focusing on the past creates inertia when it comes to moving forward. She states that her degree in history allows her to see the interest in looking back to the past. But she writes that looking back isn’t enough.
…there is a tendency for many of us to get engrossed in the recounting of our history, which often amounts to purely intellectual activity without material action. In a day in age where every 28 hours a Black person is being killed with impunity, unemployment in Black communities is 12% and Blacks make up 40% of the imprisoned population, we can’t afford to solely commemorate the past. We must seize the opportunity to change the course of history by shaping our future.
So, to commemorate #BlackFutureMonth on COLOR, here are some great tweets from the movement. These tweets do show black history, but they also revel in the accomplishments and successes of the present and, of course, the future.
Today in #BlackFutureMonth we celebrate Lonnie Johnson: inventor of one of the greatest toys ever, the Super Soaker! pic.twitter.com/OUCwtY9WKP
— #MIKEBROWNCOVERUP (@mikebrowncover) February 14, 2015
No surprise: @JanelleMonae does something else BOSS AS HELL. Black woman owned label!! #BlackFutureMonth: http://t.co/l2ASC0jpiT — BrownBlaze (@brownblaze) February 14, 2015
When #BlackHistoryMonth meets #BlackFutureMonth, in photographs http://t.co/fwymTSQ9iz pic.twitter.com/RCTxOYioED
— HuffPost BlackVoices (@blackvoices) February 12, 2015
“We who believe in freedom cannot rest” – #EllaBaker #ReclaimBlackHistory #BlackFutureMonth #BlackHistoryMonth pic.twitter.com/R4vADr3BT8 — ColorOfChange.org (@ColorOfChange) February 11, 2015
Black and missing in America: why we speak up for this often ignored and voiceless group #BlackFutureMonth http://t.co/Jl1aVyLwVS
— HuffPost BlackVoices (@blackvoices) February 14, 2015
We’re making black history daily. #blackfuturemonth http://t.co/JCKW5NvuP2 — For Harriet (@ForHarriet) February 10, 2015
Wow. Excited. @ColorOfChange recognized as one of the most innovative companies of 2015. #BlackFutureMonth http://t.co/QT20LOBr7f
— Charlene Carruthers (@CharleneCac) February 9, 2015
So true @sierraclub Climate injustice is more than one-time events & calamities http://t.co/IhOyaKf6UP @HuffingtonPost #BlackFutureMonth — Brian Furze (@brianfurze) February 7, 2015
Today is Nat’l Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day! Here’s why the AIDS epidemic matters to Black lives #BlackFutureMonth http://t.co/j22rvHApY4
— HuffPost BlackVoices (@blackvoices) February 7, 2015
Chk out an older piece from me, “Black Women Need To be Heard on Health Issues” http://t.co/hJfjeBgnCG #BlackFutureMonth #BlackHistoryMonth — Atima Omara (@atima_omara) February 7, 2015
#BlackFutureMonth 6: Black Trans Woman http://t.co/76cRRNsPCr #DOAReads @MrAugsburger @RobertTres @pliniswag @ARTSxLEISURE @misterbouncer
— Simon Abramowitsch (@ambitionsaz) February 7, 2015
“We must seize the opportunity to change the course of history by shaping our future.” #BlackFutureMonth http://t.co/pdfqjEJELv @blackvoices — BAJI (@BAJItweet) February 6, 2015
“I don’t like easy – I don’t want easy”- Richie Parker. NASCAR Vehicle Engineer. #BlackFutureMonth #BHM pic.twitter.com/c26pDiWdgF
— #MIKEBROWNCOVERUP (@mikebrowncover) February 15, 2015
— Nyatichi (@JustAnotherOreo) February 7, 2015
HuffPost’s @BlackVoices is taking the lead on celebrating #BlackFutureMonth this year! Check out all our latest cov… pic.twitter.com/k23IQMz4C2
— grégory polosecki (@gpolosecki) February 5, 2015
How are you celebrating #BlackFutureMonth? Give your opinions in the comments section below! To learn more about certain action days during #BlackFutureMonth, visit the Ferguson Response Network.
Image credit: Ferguson Response Network