As I acknowledged earlier this week, this year’s Black History Month has been…well…particularly challenging, to say the very least. The #BHM Twitter hashtag has begat more sadness and frustration than it should on a month that we should be celebrating our wins. However, enjoy even as the Polar Vortex kept niggas indoors and white folks made us want to flush our smartphones, there were a handful of noteworthy moments that reminded us how wonderful it is to be us.
A Weak Super Bowl
Super Bowl LIII came through with a whimper this month: It was one of the least-watched Super Bowls in 10 years and the halftime show with Maroon 5 (and Travis Scott and Big Boi, I guess) was the equivalent of a bologna, Kraft and Miracle Whip sandwich that spent a whole day crushed between the books in your backpack. It’s delightful schadenfreude considering how the NFL has dropped the figurative ball regarding its handling of Colin Kaepernick’s National Anthem protest. Let’s keep this same energy for LIV, guys.
Another Potential Black Prez
The 2020 presidential election – also known as The Hunger Games – will have more Black Democratic candidates (that have a chance of winning) than ever before. Sen. Kamala Harris announced her run in January, and Sen. Cory Booker announced his hat flying in the ring on the first day of February. It’s still entirely too early to tell how the primaries will play out, but it’s fun to imagine that history could be made again at the same time that we clean out the Oval Office out with ammonia for a replacement.
After years of dropping the ball, #OscarsSoBlack was in full effect this month when the 91st Academy Awards showed mad love to Black success in film, including major wins for Regina King, Mahershala Ali and, of course, our beloved Black Panther. Even if the Academy totally shat the bed with their Best Picture winner, there was so much to love – not the least of which was the homie Billy Porter, whose tux-gown was the most talked about fashion moment of on the red carpet.
Chicago to get a Dose of Black Girl Magic
Politics are rarely more historically shady than here in my adoptive city of Chicago. But for the first time in the history of the city, a Black woman as mayor is imminent. Toni Preckwinkle and Lori Lightfoot will face off against each other in an April 2 runoff to determine the next leader of the third-largest city in the nation. If Lightfoot wins, we’ll also have Chicago’s first openly gay mayor. That’s a hell of a lot of real progress for a town that’s still segregated as all hell.
Stacey Plaskett was All of Us
It’s hard not to view Michael Cohen’s testimony as a complete waste of time, considering that all of the incriminating shit he’s sharing about your president likely won’t result in any punitive actions against him. Rep. Stacey Plaskett (D-USVI) was all of us when she was caught rolling her eyes at the madness. Plaskett became an instant-classic meme for a generation of aggravated Black folks who can’t hide the weariness of the unbridled white shit that keeps us all down from their faces. Oh and don’t forget about Lynne Patten being basically the opposite of Plaskett as she literally stood up as “evidence” that Trump has Black friends. Thank goodness Plaskett was able to add some realness to that dumpster fire of a hearing.
R. Kelly’s Finally Going Down
After a literal quarter-century of predatory behavior that he’s mysteriously managed to get away with relatively unchecked, Robert Kelly was finally thrown in jail for multiple felony counts related to sexual abuse. We’ll disregard the fact that Valencia “Judas the Betrayer” Love freed him from his much-deserved cage and focus on the exceedingly small chance that Kells makes it out of this one without doing some time, even if the authorities don’t have actual video this time around.
Dustin J. Seibert is a native Detroiter living in Chicago. Miraculously, people have paid him to be aggressively light-skinned via a computer keyboard for nearly two decades. He loves his own mama slightly more than he loves music and exercises every day only so his French fry intake doesn’t catch up to him. Find him at his own site, wafflecolored.com.