It is officially Black History Month. We have made it through the first week and while many are busy celebrating Black heros and their efforts to better our country, FX decided to premiere the new OJ Simpson series titled, The People v. OJ an American Crime Story. The movie will play out miniseries style all month long with; a new part showing each week. We all know the story of the OJ Simpson Murder trial, movies have been made and books have been written. The media has beaten us all over the head with the story and its aftermath a thousand times over. For this reason, I will not recap the details. I will jump right in and say what’s been on my mind since seeing the film’s preview several months ago. I am personally disgusted that once again the OJ Simpson murder trial is being shoved down our throats and during the entire month of February at that which; takes my disgust to a whole new level.
It leaves me asking the following: how many more times will this story be told, exactly what history are we being forced to remember? What underlying message does it send to our future generations? Take a moment to think beyond average and see the real underlying message this film sends to black boys and men. This is more than just a movie. It is a reminder to black boys and men how; they are treated in this country regardless of their success and that, only the color of their skin matters. It is a reminder that if their significant other is a white woman murdered in their Brentwood mansion; they will be prosecuted and executed. They will be reminded they are still thought of as just a nigger, an ape, monkey, or baboon and are subhuman.
OJ was a huge football star in his heyday and like a lot of black men; once he had his fame and fortune he married a white woman. This happens when the black man wants to feel like he’s made it and wants to be accepted by white society. But; little does he know, he is not. The parents, grand and great-grandparents of these women and a large portion of our society does not approve of interracial dating. Black men with white women have the slave masters turning in their graves. Interracial dating in this country was an issue before the OJ murder trial, during, and still is today. Some like to believe that we have come far as a country but truth is, we have so far to go. I think we need to acknowledge these and several other in house issues (by in house I mean within the United States) and deal with them or they will be the downfall of our country.
Although it should be practiced every day until it becomes habit. Black History Month is a time to show the next generation of black girls and boys how great they can become by celebrating Black leaders who made their mark on society by working to improve our country and the lives of those society treats so unjust. Teach our children not just about Dr. King but the Freedom Riders, Malcolm X, Angela Davis, Daisy Bates, and Ella Baker just to name a few. Teach our children the true story behind the Black Panthers, and what the organization set out to achieve and why. Introduce them to great poets like James Baldwin, and Jazz performers like Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway. I can’t tell you the feeling that old Jazz gives me when Its beautiful sound touches my ears. The poetry of Maya Angelou touched my soul at a young age teaching me that, these curvy hips and brown skin I’m in are beautiful.
There are a lot of moments to be celebrated and things to be remembered during Black History Month, the OJ Simpson murder trial should not be one of them.