original image found here

I pray you’ve been enjoying this Black History Month as much as I have and that you’ve learned at least a few things you didn’t know before from my posts on the Facebook page and Twitter and from the great widget on the site that I snagged from Biography.com’s wonderful Black History site. It’s unfortunate, but observing Black History Month has become somewhat of a mixed bag for me. I personally commemorate and cherish Black history every day, because as cliché as the phrase has become, Black history IS American history, IS world history, IS… history history! It does seem, however, that the celebration has become a bit trite and I wonder what does it really mean now? 

Case in point, I was disappointed to see that Wendy Williams was chosen to receive the 19th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Award from the Consulate General of Israel yesterday. Wendy Williams? Really? Don’t get me wrong, I like Wendy and I watch her show sometimes, even attended a live taping once. But Wendy has her place and her niche. She may be entertaining, she may even bring people together, but a community leader who is continuing the legacy of Dr. King? I don’t know that I’d go that far. Sure, she has a mixed audience that crosses color, race and religious lines, but that’s mostly because her show appeals to the basest part of our nature: the part that’s superficial and wants to hear the latest gossip about others. Not a crime, but I hardly think this is what Dr. King had in mind when he outlined his dream. I’m not hating on Wendy, by any means, but there are many, many community leaders who have dedicated their entire lives to service and who could have been afforded their moment to shine. In my opinion, it's  almost insulting that the Consulate would choose Wendy rather than seeking a real leader in Black-Jewish relations to highlight, but it speaks to the dwindling meaning of this and other such honors. In any case, what's done is done so I will congratulate my sista Wendy and hope for a more fitting choice next year.

I pray that all the community leaders out there are doing what they do because they love it, and not for any other reason. It’s so important to do what you really love to do, and do it from the heart, because there’s never any guarantee of honors or recognition. But trust, when you do what’s right and you help others, you’ll always get your blessings from where it really matters. Ase!