The Problem with Black History Month

There’s a few good reasons to suspect the month hinders, rather than helps, understanding and celebrating black contributions to civilization.

Every year, I experience a sense of frustration ahead of the barrage of ads (Coca-Cola, Nike, AT&T, or Wal-Mart, as the case may be) that use black actors and are exclusively targeted towards Black History Month. Yes, these corporate titans care very much about the black experience, past, present, and future—these good-natured advertisements are our proof. But don’t check for that cute little girl in afro puffs asking her Idris Elba-doppelganger daddy why the all-new-for-2015 Chevy Impala is like Harriet Tubman (I-95 being the Underground Railroad, naturally) come April. By then it’ll be back to business as usual, and most of the faces on the flat screen will once again be white.

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