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Imagine you have struggled to rise above very humble, even deprived, roots to achieve something of prominence in your community. You work for an education, get elected to some minor office, do a lot of good for people, foster key relationships, and find yourself mayor or county executive. You pride yourself on your hard work–the thing that got you where you are, so far from your beginnings.
Now, imagine that once a year, you are hounded to speak about being black. Eleven months out of the year, the only attention anyone pays you involves parking tickets, foreclosures, county ordinances, and budgets. Then, for one month, people, reporters, and organizations want you to do your job but also become Uber Black for Black History Month events. For this month, no one cares that you saved taxpayer dollars and reduced crime. They want to know what it’s like to be black.
That’s the way Dallas County Commissioner, John Wiley Price, sees Black History Month.
Mr. Price says that white folks want to get all chummy with some prominent blacks one month of the year, hear lectures about Frederick Douglas, George Washington Carver, Martin Luther King, and a bevy of other famous blacks whom everyone already knows everything about, then forget about them the other 11 months.
Well, folks, when you ask for gratuitous homages, sometimes you get them. And the last thing a struggling, black, single mother of three in North St. Louis needs is a gratuitous lecture on famous blacks.
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