Tuesday, February 1, 2011

swing low, sweet chariot...


There was a special energy in the room.  Little Se'lah came home singing the Black spiritual, swing low, sweet chariot, coming for to carry me home...  It was the most angelic voice (if i may say so myself) and it instantly commanded my attention.

whe she hear dat from? I wondered for a moment.  And then it dawned on me...Black.History.Month!

I've always been bewildered by the concept of Black History "Month".  On the one hand, I always enjoy celebrating the historic accomplishments of our freedom fighters, and appreciate their brief moment in the public spotlight, but on the other hand, since I was not born in america, each month has presented me with cultural opportunities to embrace my Black.History so I can't quite grasp the limitation.  I will say, however, that at no other time during the school year does my daughter ever learn Black spirituals in her predominantly white school.  It was certainly food for my soul to see her joyfully exploring her own culture in this way.  

How do you celebrate Black History Month?

*The "wishing stone" featured above was hand painted by Little Se'Lah.  Much love to you all.  To those who celebrate, Happy Black History Month!

19 comments:

Anyes said...

Happy Black History Month, Se'Lah :-)

Kim Mailhot said...

I love this rock.
Hugs to your two beautiful Se'lahs !

Gail said...

HI Se'Lah-
If I may. I struggle with anything, that by design, title, intent, and so forth is specific to a particular group of people - I do believe that such fosters racism even in its best intended form. I certainly celebrate humanity, with no particular reference to black or white, rather to the person. Every month is historical filled with people to honor regardless of their ethnicity. So I celebrate "people" in history. I hope you understand the loving intention of my words.
Love Gail
peace.....

Heather said...

O.k., I never comment here, but this time I can't help myself~~~

I think I might just die of delight and pride if I heard "Little Se'lah" singing 'Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.' Truly! A million thoughts and emotions would sweep through me and I'd probably fall apart right there on the spot!

Also, I must comment here in regards to "Gail"'s comment above-- Dear Gail, It is NOT racist to celebrate Black History Month. What is racist (note: racism = prejudice + discrimination) is to be blind to the historical profundity of color (i.e., liberal racism's "colorblindness") and to deny legacies of suffering by refusing to allow disadvantaged populations to be deservedly lifted up.

Black History Month is celebrated in our family in a big way. While we, of course, think and talk about black history (and think/talk/experience black present-day) all year long, this is a month where we finally feel like other non-black people are forced a little to think about it too. And goodness knows, there is a LOT for us all to think about in regards to Black History.

And to "Se'lah" (so hard for me to call you that when you're one of my best friends in real life! LOL!): Happy Black History Month my dear friend!

The most awe-inspiring, incredible thing, to me, about the history of black people throughout the world?? Resilience. And you, my friend, represent well-- you are probably the most resilient person I've ever had the privilege of knowing.

Keep on keepin' on!
:)
One LOVE,
hbj

Teresha@Marlie and Me said...

Back in Atlanta, Black History Month was a big deal and actually started with MLK day. Here in TX, I only realize it's Black History Month when I see BET PSAs on other channels. I agree that every day should be a celebration of our heritage.

Vickie said...

Celebrating BLACK all day and all year long with you Se'Lah! I love the spotlight on the civil rights activists during this time of month and I LOVE to see how beautiful, intelligent, hopeful, and promising it is to celebrate the Black culture and within that celebration, we celebrate ALL life! How wonderful it is to be proud...

Gail said...

HEATHER-

I am not surprised that my comment was perceived as somehow wrong. I
took a chance and now I know better. I am sorry if any offense was taken, certainly none was intended - quite the opposite - my feelings are free of any attachment to anything other than the celebration of whomever for whatever.
Gail
peace.....

SE'LAH... said...

I appreciate and welcome the open and honest exchange of ideas that takes place here in my necessary room, even on the most difficult and challenging subjects. Understanding the perspectives of others is vital to my growth as a human being and citizen of the world.

Please don't feel that you ever need to censor your ideas here because they may be different or uncomfortable for others to grasp.

One Love, always.

Teresa O said...

I do not celebrate Black History Month, as such, but I do celebrate the lovely young lady my son fell in love with, who just happens to be black. I do celebrate the diversity and uniqueness of each of us every day always hoping that one day all will be accepted for the differences that makes us beautiful.

I agree that lifting up disadvantaged populations brings success and joy to all of us.

Stay warm and well, dear Se'lah.

Marilyn said...

Love Little Se'Lah's painting on the rock.

Birdie said...

I hope you have a wonderful months of celebrations! lots of love

Tracey said...

Beautiful, powerful post and great, honest comments. Continue to shine the light,Se'Lah, & I would have loved nothing more than to have heard sweet, "little se'lah" singing! :-)

Lisa said...

That is the sweetest story about your daughter! I don't know that I particularly celebrate Black History Month. To a certain extent, my recent post about natural hair could be tied in, but the post was still in January. Black history can't be restricted to just one month!

I'm a night owl and really enjoy the Craig Ferguson show. Last night I was very surprised and delighted to watch an entire show devoted to Black History Month. Not quite what you'd expect for a late night comedy show. He had on Cornel West and they discussed issues relating to race in this country. The musical guest was George Clinton, who sang "One Nation Under A Groove." I think it was great that Ferguson was brave enough to start the discussion. And I thought the song was quite symbolic. We may be all different races in this country, but we are all part of the same nation.

Christina said...

Black is beautiful. All nationalities are beautiful.

I wish it weren't just a month, that was given attention to the history of black people. I often look at this as the month, for people outside of our culture, to become educated on some of our achievements.

...The other 11 months, for us to keep the education of our people going. If for no one, but our children, if for no place, but under our roofs.

One love, my sister.
What a beautiful and thought provoking post.
xo

Chris said...

Love the stone and Carmen Sandiego as well. Also love the song Little Se'Lah sang. I can hear it in my head right now. Thanks for sharing.

Meredith said...

Oh, Little Se'lah's got talent. Love the wishing stone!

I am quite frustrated in my efforts to help the little girl I tutor to realize her beauty and revel in who she is. She also goes to a predominantly white school, in a community that is still quite backward in its ideas about race. When I first began to tutor her and asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up, she told me "blond, skinny, and white," and just about broke my heart. So we've been having Black History *year* ever since that moment, and I've been getting an education, too, frankly -- about how her public school curriculum ignores minority points of view and contributions to American history, mostly. I also had no idea how few children's books and feature films there are out there showing young African-American heroes and heroines. I could go on and on...

I don't think one month is really going to cut it. I suppose we can say that at least there's that month. But I guess I'm a little greedy; I want more for the next generation.

julochka said...

the wishing stone is lovely indeed. happy black history month! (if that is what one says.)

xox,
/j

A Box of Chocolates said...

oh Se'Lah baby Se"lah is so clever what an amazing little wishing stone. I love this all that wild hair happening so gorgeous and that little voice singing i want to hear that really i do

happeningsonchaosranch said...

I would have loved to learn a Black spiritual in school, during any month! The ones I've heard on T.V. have been wonderful. I'd also love to hear little Se'Lah singing Swing Low, Sweet Chariot. Ahh, children make my heart swell! Love her wishing stone too. I hope all of her wishes come true.

Hugs, Sharon