One thing to consider before reading this – there is much controversy regarding the origins of the Garifuna people. The information presented below (and what you read online/books/or heard) is a “heavily reported truth” rather than fact. Regardless, the essence of this post is that a Latin country is celebrating and acknowledging it’s Afro-descendant community. For those that are lucky enough to be in Honduras for this month of April (especially April 12th) make sure you visit a Garifuna communities (La Cieba, Trujillo, etc.) and see how we celebrate our culture!
I repeat… visit a Garifuna community.
I don’t think I need to expand on the notion that not all people like to do things the same way, especially celebrating history. Some African-Americans celebrate Black History Month and some Arfikkans refuse to participant in a fictitious celebration of Black excellence in a time where Black lives are still valued less than a slave master’s pet. *Pause*
Same goes for Afro-descendants overseas. There are countries that (might) whole heartily want to show pride of their Afro-descendant communities, but they are equally members of those communities that simply don’t want any part of this charade.
Which brings me to OFRANEH versus Honduras(‘s White Supremacists):
This is an official statement from former President of Honduras Lobo Sosa during Honduras’s African Heritage Month:
Tegucigalpa, Honduras.- El Presidente de la República Porfirio Lobo Sosa inauguró este día, en compañía del ministro de los Pueblos Indígenas Luis Francisco Green Morales, las festividades del Mes de la Herencia Africana. Esta es una conmemoración especial y trascendental para la identidad nacional, que se desarrolla cada mes de abril desde el año 2002 con el propósito de reconocer la presencia y aporte de los ciudadanos y ciudadanas afrodescendientes al engrandecimiento de nuestra patria.
TRANSLATION: [Tegucigalpa, Honduras -. The President Porfirio Lobo Sosa, accompanied by the Minister of Indigenous Peoples Green Francisco Luis Morales, formally commenced the festivities of African Heritage Month. This is a special and momentous commemoration for national identity, which is held every April since 2002 in order to recognize the presence and contribution of citizens of African descent to the greatness of our country.] Read more here.
And then there’s OFRANEH (Organización Fraternal Negra Hondureña)…
TRANSLATION: [“The month of the African heritage, has served as a smokescreen to bury the racism in Honduras, where the small elite of national power, composed mostly of families from Europeans, Syrians, Lebanese and Jewish [decent] arrived to this country in the twentieth century. While the indigenous and black peoples are considered foreigners and our territories have become targets of looting under the scheme called “development” policies by international financial organizations.”] Read more here.
I leave you with this – just because a country celebrates it’s marginalized populations for one month, doesn’t mean that the other 11 months are peachy. Countries with vulnerable population usually put up these facades to please the Axles of Power. Take every good-willed event by the State with a grain of salt.
“Black History Month is 365/360.” – @gondeaf