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Still making black history

OPINION

  • Beyonce performs at the Super Bowl.
Beyonce performs at the Super Bowl. (Getty Images )
February 20, 2013|By Zach Stafford, @zachstafford | For RedEye

The Super Bowl, the Grammys, Valentine's Day, the Oscars. Yep, February is a busy month, but for me it's most notable as Black History Month. With only a week left, this seems to be the perfect time to reflect on some highlights—or lowlights?—from 2013. Here are three stories that caught my eye.

Chicken and waffles became chips

Yes, it's true: You can now eat the famous dish as a Lay's potato chip—at least for now. The Do Us a Flavor contest pits the soul food staple against Siracha and Cheesy Garlic Bread flavors in a battle to determine which flavor will remain on store shelves.

I picked up my first bag during a road trip with friends and experienced three different emotions: joy, awe and surprise. I was happy due to the fact they even existed. In awe because they were so good. And surprised that they came out during Black History Month.

No, I don't think there is some racist agenda afoot, but the timing could have been better. Funny/awkward, right?

Slavery became illegal

Speaking of racism ... February 2013 forever will be marked as the month slavery finally became fully illegal in America. I know what you're thinking: Wait, didn't that happen already? Apparently not.

In the late 1800s, when the 13th Amendment was being ratified by all the states, four chose to opt out initially, with most of these four eventually joined the crowd and ratified the amendment. Mississippi got around to it in 1995, MSNBC reports, but never made it officially official by sending the ratification to the Office of the Federal Register.

According to MSNBC, it took a couple of curious professors and the movie "Lincoln" for anyone to notice the oversight.

After Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann corrected the mistake, he told MSNBC, "It was long overdue." For all you not good at math and want to know how "overdue" Mississippi was ... well, the answer is 148 years.

And we thought marriage equality was taking too long. Geez.

Beyonce used her superpowers

In 2012, when we were all worried that the end of the Mayan calendar meant the end of the world, I believe we misunderstood. It wasn't marking the end of the world, but rather the beginning of a new one: Bey-world.

Between her world tour, inauguration performance and new documentary, she really is everywhere. Her performance at the Super Bowl halftime show was SO anticipated that most people began referring to the event as the Beyonce Bowl, ignoring football entirely.

After her performance, Beyonce used her superpowers for the first time in such a public venue and literally shut the place down—lights off for almost an hour.

After this historic event, all of us common folks had to take a moment and again ask ourselves: Who runs the world? And the answer, for at least 2013, is Beyonce, a fierce black woman.

Happy Black History Month.

Zach Stafford is a RedEye special contributor.

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