We don’t do enough for Black History Month. I think it should be a high celebration. It’s Negro Ramadan. It’s the extended remix of Kwanzaa. It’s like August for white people (Wait, you didn’t know that August was white people’s favorite month? Look it up.)
I believe Black History Month should be a month-long Sadie Hawkins reversal where Black people get to be mediocre and beat up cops. But, until I can push the Michael Harriot Black History Month Act through the legislature, I have some ideas on how you can celebrate Black History Month legally.
Day 1: Get all of your Black co-workers to wear Kente cloth. At lunchtime, have a cake delivered as you break into “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Exchange empty gift-wrapped boxes with all of the Black people. Glare at Susan from Accounting and remark loudly: “I guess they don’t celebrate our history.”
Day 2: Ask for a manager. When the manager appears, tell them: “Oh, I just want to see how it feels.”
Day 3: Begin every phone call with the Preamble to Black Church Testimonies:
Giving honor to God, the pastor, and all the saints in the House of the Lord. My name is ____ and I bring you greetings from St. Luke Missionary Church where the Rev. James S. Jackson is the pastor.
Then just keep talking as if it is normal.
Day 4: Whenever anyone mentions a white famous person, politician or historical figure, try to convince the person you’re talking to that the aforementioned celebrity is Black.
Tom Brady? You know he’s one-quarter Black, right? Yeah, his maternal grandmother was Bessie Mae Jenkins, a successful candy lady from St. Louis! Everybody knows that! Look it up!
(Saying “look it up” adds a layer of authenticity to everything.)
Day 5: Walk past Susan from accounting and say: “Still no presents huh?”
Day 6: Call a local country music radio station and ask if you can hear something by Shirley Murdock or Luther Vandross. If they say they don’t have it, reply:
“Not even during Black History Month?”
Day 7: Go to Home Depot and ask one of the white associates in the gardening tool section a bunch of questions about axes and tomahawk. Periodically mention that the “purge” starts tomorrow.
“It’s more like a race war, though. You’re not on Black Twitter?”
Get a friend to go in 15 minutes later and do the same thing.
Day 8: Buy a bunch of small containers of seasoned salt and hand them out to white strangers. Tell them it’s a Black History Month community service project.
Day 9: Make a bunch of “Black Lives Matter” picket signs, go to a white-owned business and just hang outside on the sidewalk with the signs stacked beside you. If someone asks what you’re doing, say:
Day 10: Go to FacesoftheRiot.com and text links of the pictures to random white people and ask: “This you?”
Day 11: Pitch yourself to an all-white elementary school as a Black History Month speaker. Sprinkle random little-known Black History facts into your speech.
Make sure they are all kinda wrong like:
- Alice Walker invented the color purple.
- The Statue of Liberty is a Black woman named Liberty Lakeisha Freeman.
- Malcolm X’s grandson is named Malcolm XII.
- Oscar Micheaux popularized the hot dog.
- Thomas Jefferson called his wife “Weezy.”
- Nat “King” Cole earned his nickname by leading an 1831 slave revolt.
Don’t forget to say: “Look it up!”
Day 12: Go to the grocery and fill your cart up. Choose a white cashier. After he or she rings up the groceries, ask for the Black History Month discount. When they refuse, yell: “That’s why I don’t shop at white-owned businesses!”
Day 13: Return the ax to Home Depot. Tell them you had the wrong date.
Day 14: Go to the parking lot of a large white church and put a copy of the Final Call on every car.
Day 15: Write your Black coworker an email thanking her for the Black History Month present. Add: “P.S. Everyone else gave me theirs privately...except Susan. You were right about her.”
Carbon copy Susan.
Day 16: Be mediocre.
Day 17: Get some business cards printed for a lawn service. Leave them on the counters of various businesses. At the bottom of the card, in fine print, say: “Whites only.”
Put Susan’s number at the bottom.
Day 18: Summon an Uber. keep canceling until you find a white driver. Make sure they have the feature where you can listen to your music. As you ride, listen to the most vitriolic Farrakhan speech you can find.
Day 19: Go to Whole Foods and ask people to sign a petition for reparations.
Day 20: Get a bunch of your friends to meet in a white neighborhood and go Black History Month caroling.
Day 21: Speak only in freestyle rhymes all day.
Day 22: Go to a bar and order two shots of liquor. Work really hard to get the bartender to our out a shot for your Black History Month homeys. If you can convince them to pour it on the floor, scream “Not on the floor! That’s racist!”
Stand up, pay the bill and leave.
Day 23: Tweet: “Larry Bird and Tom Brady are overrated.”
Watch Twitter explode.
Day 24: Return to Home Depot. Tell the person in gardening that you had the dates wrong but you’re probably going to need two axes.
Day 25: Print out invitations to a cookout and mail them to white people. Make sure it has Susan’s address.
Day 26: Call a white person a “white person.”
Day 27: Give out Black Lives Matter shirts to everyone at work, even Susan. Instruct them that they are supposed to wear them tomorrow for the big End-of-Black History Month celebration. Ask them to contribute to a BHM cake and ask if they want to speak on the program.
Day 28: Act like it’s a regular day. If they bring up the program or the cake, act as if you have no idea what they are talking about.
That’s how they treat our history.