why do we need black history month

Jazz legend Charles Mingus, right, was a double-bassist and composer who stretched the boundaries of improvisational and big band jazz from the 1950s through the 1970s. After learning to play the trombone and then the cello, Mingus applied his natural skill to the bass and soon was recognized as a prodigy. Bassist
follows Mingus' path of jazz ambassadorship.


A gifted musician who taught herself to play the violin, Spalding received a full scholarship to the Berklee College of Music in Boston as a teenager and is the only jazz artist to win a Grammy for best new artist. She was asked to perform at the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize Concert by Nobel laureate President Barack Obama. So when Charles Blow, who is one of the most poignant and talented writers in this country, if not world, recently asked what happens after Black Lives Matter?


My answer is this. Let's keep this conversation and action going. I hope the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter does not end until the above disparities show meaningful, measurable change. While laws are not going to be the most effective way in which to make these changes, we still need to fight the good fight and get laws passed that make every effort to identify systemic racism and correct it.


But if the past speaks of our future, we cannot count on laws alone. We all know that slavery continued every after laws were passed with slavery supporters refusing to free African Americans.


Notice I refer to slave "owners" as supporters. Slavery is an invention. It's an idea that was created and carried out just as the idea that someone's skin color would correlate to some sort of hierarchy that would determine worth in this country. Let this be clear - all of us came into this country equally.


Along the way, racism and slavery were invented and a lot of people bought into these repugnant ideologies. And today it feels like those people are angry that we want talk about it. Well too bad. I'm sorry that your ancestors were barbaric but guess what? You can change your entire history today by joining the conversation. And as for me personally?