I keep a photograph of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. shaking hands hanging above my bed.  It’s my favorite thing to look at when I’m feeling like I can’t face the next day, or when I feel like the hurdles that life puts before me are getting tougher and tougher to jump over.  I think I like to look at the black and white photo so much because the two herculean and complex leaders are smiling.  With all the things that were going on around them at the time, with all the hate and contempt so many Americans had for them, they were still able to smile.  If they could smile in the face of personal danger and certain death, all in the name of freedom, then I can smile and drag my ass to work. 

Today two black NFL coaches are going to go at it in the Super Bowl.  I personally don’t care much about the Colts or the Bears (I’m a New Yorker, dammit!), yet this to me is one of the most exciting sporting events ever.  Then, on top of this developing black history moment, we have Prince providing the half-time entertainment.  It’s all good – so long as we do not lose sight of the fact that not a single football team is owned by a black person.  We still have a ways to go in terms of the business side of sports.

From Mansa Musa, to Dr. King, to Barack Obama, I enjoy Black History not just this, the shortest month on the calendar, but every month.  When I think about the history of black people in this country and in the world I often get chills.  The success and suffering of my people is such an enigmatic juxtaposition that I can spend hours reading about and pondering the past,  present, and future of black people.  I can’t be sure of what the future may hold, I’m no psychic, though I can be certain that the tradition of strength, endurance, integrity, and pride will carry black folk forward.  I can also be cetain that a black coach will lead his team to victory in the Super Bowl tonight.