"If a race has no history, if it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated."
Dr. Carter G. Woodson
For some reason, this February doesn't feel like Black History Month.
Historically, the long, hard history of resistance has been at the heart of the recognition, but this year seems different.
Part of it must be the horrendous suffering that struck Haiti a month ago. The Haitian Revolution has been an inspiration for Blacks the world over, for over 2 centuries.
But even that doesn't explain it.
It may be the fact of a Black person in the nation's highest office - something that seemed unthinkable just a few years ago.
But that ain't all of it. For though this was unexpected and a source of immense pride, there's also the dawning recognition that, for millions of Blacks, things aren't just 'not better' - they are immensely worse.
For the brunt of the foreclosure crisis hit Blacks and Latinos who owned homes, for they were most subject to the explosive sub prime loans. As the economy fell, the Black community faced disproportionate joblessness and longer job searches.
All the indicators of social well being, health, jobs, education, police violence, judicial treatment, etc. are trending negatively.
And while polls show Blacks are the President's most loyal supporters, some must truly wonder: "Is it the most powerful politician in the country (if not the world), powerless when it comes to addressing the survival struggles of Blacks?'
Thus falls a pall over Black History Month.