Monday, January 19, 2009

The Greatest Day In Black History

A fellow blogger, Black African Princess (BAP) titled her post on Barack Obama's election win, 'the greatest day in black history'. I disagreed.

I'm sure many will be hailing the inauguration of America's first black President as, without a doubt, the greatest day in black history. Again, I am wont to disagree.

While it is a fantastically humongous and absolutely important, irreplaceable and unforgettable (not to mention heart-warming, tear-jerking, and just monumental) achievement in black ('American') history... I don't think it is the greatest day in black history.

But that begs the question: what was the greatest day in black history? Was it the day Martin Luther King was born? Was it the day black Caribbean slaves were freed? Was it the day apartheid was outlawed in South Africa? What was the greatest day in black history???

And the more I thought about it, the more I realised that the greatest day in black history probably happened too long ago for any of us to remember... maybe the greatest day in black history was the very first day an oppressed black man/woman realised that he/she could and should be free. Maybe the day the seed of a thought of equality was planted in a black mind was the day life really began for the black race...

But then, once upon a long-gone time, before slavery and every other form of discrimnation, we were happy, free people. Maybe those were the greatest days in black history- a time when no knowledge of any racial hardships or injustices existed at all... no slavery to overcome, no mental barriers to break down because there were none...

Maybe the greatest day in black history is today, and tomorrow, and every new day that brings with it the hope of advancement and an even brighter future... Maybe the answer varies depending on location, age, and personal values...

I don't have the answer, but the historic times we live in certainly provoke the question: we've come so far as a race, what should we tote as the greatest day in our history??

One thing for certain is that Barack Obama's inauguration is one of the greatest days in black history. About that, there is no question.

14 comments:

areyouteeaych said...

agreed. nothing can be so absolute and history is comprised of a series of events.

loved this post!

Will said...

this was so thoughtful and eloquently put... it's easy to label something as the greatest or the worst or whatever... but there are no true absolutes in this life... and you've put that so well...

i'm glad you came back... don't ever leave me again... sob...

clnmike said...

Well said, it is just one of many great days.

Annie Paul said...

nice one Ruthie, a tiny voice of sanity...

Blu Jewel said...

Good show! I feel you on this. While this is a great day in Black/American history, it took all of those events to get where we are today. We must never forget who we are or where we came from.

Love to live; live to love!

Ruthibelle said...

I've really been wondering about it... the greatest day in black history... should we even try to pinpoint a single event or person to wear the label of 'the greatest'?

@Will... REst assuresd I don't plan to go anywhere anytime soon. The separation is painful for me too, lol

On a different note though, I can't wait to hear Obama's speech today!! MY TV is stuck on CNN... I'm just waiting... Just counting down the minutes and waiting :-)

lucy said...

"no mental barriers to break down because there were none..."

Beautiful quote Ruthi! It touches me very much, i've had this day in my heart for a long time.

I just watched slumdog millionair and for me it really touched me the atrocities Muslims are still facing to this very day. I know a few Muslims and a lot of them handle the prejudice well. yet, i just want to shake racist, sexist, and even ageist people silly.

as much as i'm happy this is a day in history for black Americans, I'm also happy that the best MAN got the job, and that something like race SHOULD have never been an issue to begin with! geesh! It's only melanin.

Ruthibelle said...

thanks Luce!

Discrimination is such a horrible thing, fuh true... it's wickedness in its element!

Abeni said...

I disagree too. My pick is the Haitian Revolution which created a nation of proud black men willing to make their voices heard.

M Chickk said...

Very good post.

Mat Kool said...

Yes. I agree. It is truly impossible to pinpoint a single day as 'The Greatest Day'. No 'great day' could have happened without the great days or even the normal days before it. Obama's inauguration is certainly monumental. But it stands tall among many other days as equally great.

Ruthibelle said...

Thanks M Chickk

that's right, MAt

longbench said...

Greatest day in *modern* Black history: its a toss-up: January , 1804 when the first free black republic was declared and a dark-skinned middle finger given to Napoleon. Or, the day I was born. You decide.

Ruthibelle said...

Wow Long, that certainly is a haaard choice... this is one time I'd rather remain indecisive, LOL :)