So it’s Black History Month
As usual, the barbershop was crowded.
Professor walked in and immediately raised his hand, and asked, “Where’s Bob White? I have some notes for him. I want to tell him that the people running Black History Month are either naïve or don’t know anything about Black History.”
“What do you mean?” Genius asked.
Professor responded, “Black History is Montreal COMMUNITY Contact, twelve months a year.”
School Boy put up his hand and said, “That’s the truth. I was in the library the other day and if you read Community CONTACT years ago you would’ve read that the most powerful Black person is one who is a member of a library and has a library card. I came across a very interesting article at the library and photocopied it for everyone in here… especially all the baby mothers and baby fathers. Everybody turn off your cell phones, this is important, because whoever you’re texting it’s all foolishness anyway. And if the phone rings, don’t accept any calls from prison. In fact, don’t answer the phone at all.”
[…] So now that I have your attention, let me read this story. It’s called “American History…Black History Something To Think About. Just read it:
This is a story of a little boy named Theo who woke up one morning and asked his mother, “Mom what if there were no Black people in the world?”
Well, his mother thought about it for a moment then responded, “Son, follow me around today and let’s just see what it would be like if there were no Black people in the world.”
Mom continued, “Now go get dressed and we will get started.”
Theo ran into his room to get ready. His mother took one look at him and said, “Theo, where are your shoes, and those clothes are all wrinkled, son. I must iron them. But when she reached for the ironing board it was no longer there. You see Sara Boone, a Black woman, invented the ironing board, and Jan Matzelinger, a Black woman, and invented the shoe lace machines.”
“Oh well, she said, please go and do something to your hair.”
Theo ran in his room to comb his hair, but the comb was not there. You see, Walter Sammons, a Black man invented the comb. Theo decided to just brush his hair, but the brush was gone. You see Lydia O. Newman, a Black woman, invented the brush.”
Well this is a sight, no shoes, wrinkled clothes, hair a mess, even mom’s hair without the hair care inventions of Madam C. J. Walker… you get the picture.
Mom told Theo, “Let’s do our chores around the house and then take a trip to the grocery store. Theo’s job was to sweep the floor. He swept and swept and swept. When he reached for the dustpan it was not there. You see, Lloyd P. Ray, a Black man, invented the dustpan. So he swept his pile of dirt over in the corner and left it there.
He then decided to mop the floor, but the mop was gone. You see, Thomas W. Stewart, a Black man, invented the mop.
Theo yelled to his mom, “I am not having any luck.”
“Well son, she said, let me finish washing these clothes and we will prepare a list for the grocery store. When the wash finished, she went to place the clothes in the dryer, but it was not there. You see, George T. Samson, a Black man, invented the clothes dryer.”
Mom asked Theo to go get a pencil and some paper to prepare their list for the market. So Theo ran for the paper and pencil but noticed the pencil lead was broken. Well he was lucky, because John Love, a black man, invented the pencil sharpener. Mom reached for a pen, but it was not there. Not to worry; William Purvis, a Black man, invented the fountain pen. As a matter of fact, Lee Burridge invented the typewriting machine, and W.A. Lovette, the advanced printing press.
Theo and his mother were ready to head out to the market. When he opened the door he noticed the grass was as high as he was tall. He was lucky; the lawn mower was invented by John Burr, a Black man.
They made their way to the car and found that it just wouldn’t go. Not to worry, Richard Spikes, a Black man, invented the automatic gearshift and Joseph Gammel invented the supercharge system for internal combustion engines.
They noticed that the few cars that were moving were running into each other because there were no traffic signals. So Garret A. Morgan, a Black man, invented the traffic light.
It was getting late, so they walked to the market, got their groceries and returned home. Just when they were about to put away the milk, eggs and butter, they noticed the refrigerator was gone. So they just left the food on the counter. Thankfully, John Standard, a Black man, invented the refrigerator.
By this time, Theo noticed he was getting mighty cold. Mom went to turn up the heat, and what do you know… Alice Parker, a Black woman, invented the heating furnace. Even in summertime they would have been out of luck, but Frederick Jones, a Black man, invented the air conditioner.
It was almost time for Theo’s father to arrive home. He usually took the bus, but there was none. By the way, its precursor, the electric trolley was invented by a Black man, Elbert R. Robinson. He usually took the elevator from his office on the 20th floor, but there was no elevator because Alexander Miles, a Black man, invented the elevator. He also usually dropped off the office mail at a nearby mailbox, but it was no longer there because Philip Downing, A Black man, invented the letter drop mailbox and William Barry invented the postmarking and cancelling machine.
Theo and his mother sat at the kitchen table with their heads in their hands. When father arrived he asked, “Why are you sitting in the dark?”
“Why? Lewis Howard Latimer, a Black man, invested the filament in the light bulb.”
Theo quickly learned what it would be like if there were no Black people in the world. Not to mention if he were ever sick and needed blood. Charles Drew, a Black scientist, found a way to preserve and store blood plasma, which resulted in the start of the world’s first blood bank. And what if a family member had to have heart surgery. This would not have been possible without Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, a Black doctor who performed the first heart surgery.
So if, like Theo, you ever wonder where would we be without US [BLACKS]?
Well, it’s pretty plain to see. We would still be in the DARK.
There was a resounding “Amen” from the Ways and Means Committee.
Uncle Tom and Uncle Clarence put up their hands and almost simultaneously asked: “What about author Helen Bannerman?”
Justice asked, “What did she ever do to promote Black History?”
Professor raised his hand and said, “Listen, Black History is when back in the day everybody ran home on Saturday night because they didn’t want to miss a show called Like Young. Don Jordan, one of the best dancers in Montreal (and North America) was on there. That was Black history.”
Just Chillin said, “Black History is when Black back-up quarterback Doug Williams won the Super Bowl for the Washington Redskins and a white sports reporter asked him, “How long have you been a Black quarterback?”
The NFL didn’t pull his press credentials for asking such an insulting, dumb question.”
Dropout said, “Let me tell you what Black History is. You’re a seamstress in Montgomery, Alabama. You just finished working and you’re tired… You finished work, you leave the factory, walk to the bus stop, wait for the bus, get on the bus, pay your fare, then get off the bus, walk to the middle, get back on the bus, go sit in the back. Again you’re very tired. A white man approaches you to give him your seat, you refuse, he calls the police, the police arrest you and you’re in cuffs, take you to the police station, charge you, now you have a criminal record. The woman’s name is Rosa Parks…”
Deacon put up hand like a football coach asking for a time-out… interrupting…
“Dropout, I got to go,” Deacon said. “It’s Black History Month, but I can’t take anymore of this. It’s BHM, but that story is making me very angry. I feel like I’m going to explode. Let’s continue this another time…”
He walked to the door.