In the long and storied history of the universe nothing has come so far, overcome so much, as Black. Some have theorized that in the beginning there was only Blackness. Here's the thinking on that.
In the beginning Black wasn't a color. It was just a void. Nothingness.
Then came the sun and the heavens and the earth, and for some reason people began to hate on Black. They sided with yellow, and green, and blue, and others. They relegated Black to nighttime and said hurtful things like "what are we going to do? it's friggin' pitch-black out here".
Black would think, "What do you mean what are you going to do? Y'know, it's worth noting I was here first, you light-reflecting punks. But really, you can do whatever you want. Just 'cause I'm around doesn't mean you can't do anything. Just don't call me pitch."
But Black never actually said anything. He was never one to speak up. Instead, Black just absorbed the abuse. And over time he began to get depressed and sullen.
He started practicing sinister forms of magic and comedy. And he would compose long lists of people he deemed undesirable.
Eventually, Black moved into a hole, with his two favorite pets: one a sheep, the other a cat. Blessed with an entrepreneurial spirit, he formed a marketplace where people would trade goods unbeknownst to others. On occasion, he would mail people and tell them to do his bidding lest he come out and make it a "Black day" for everyone.
Black loved to come out on Fridays, and came to be associated with the day. But at this point in time all hope for Black to be accepted in society seemed lost.
But then Black discovered he had a gift, a knack for fashion. From little dresses to top hats to shiny shoes, it seemed everything he made was in style and appropriate for just about any occasion. This was "the new Black," and he started making serious money with his gift. In fact, he stacked so much paper, the businessmen started referencing him when their own companies started making money.
In order to protect his financial interests, Black studied and became a guru of all the martial arts. Every time he learned a new martial art, he would wear a belt indicating his mastery. Black was not to be fucked with.
Some other things have happened along the way to get us to this point where we celebrate Black history. He also invented a box that's indestructible, and created a music style/cult called "goth". But every individual accomplishment seems so small when placed against the majesty of his complete legacy. It's a legacy that still has a bright future, even as we celebrate its past.
So keep all this in mind as we approach this month of normal length and moderate temperatures(May!); our world would be totally different without Black history, and we should never forget that.
I read this excerpt from my forthcoming book at the "How I Learned" reading series, good times! It originally ran on McSweeney's. If you have excellent satire (or whathaveyou) pieces that deserve some shine, give me a shout.