Historical approaches, like most other things, are subject to change and nuance. Of course history itself (past events, activities and individual expression) doesn’t change, but the manner in which we interpret it, our aim in researching it, or the manner … Continue reading Enough of the Feel Good Black History!
On February 16, 2014, I posted the following statement on Facebook: Is a display of some discretion and selectivity too much to ask? Do Jewish people cite and promote other Jews that repeatedly betrayed Jewish interests or were willing accomplices to their Holocaust during their celebration of Jewish history? Hell No! In this case at least, we might be wise to learn from their example. Black History Month should not involve a generic roll call of everyone or anyone who is Black in phenotype. And if you stubbornly insist on playing the ole’ BHM roll-call game, at least research the … Continue reading Do Black Sellouts Exist?
I wrote about this before, and I’ll continue saying it. Whether you see the validity in Black History Month or don’t, it exists. And since it exists, and is celebrated in schools, places of worship, homes, and community centers throughout the world, it behooves us to use this month judiciously. Given the range of challenges facing the Black community, we cannot afford to reduce this month to a simple roll-call of great Black individuals, or Black trivia. This provides us with a time to be critical, to tell important stories from our own perspectives, and draw meaning from them, to … Continue reading Making Black History Month Relevant Part II
With Black History Month (BHM) rapidly approaching, I want to take this opportunity to address: 1.) The purpose and background of BHM (2. The limited ways in which we typically use this month 3.) How to make BHM more relevant and empowering. Purpose/Background What we now refer to as Black History Month began as “Negro History Week.” Dr. Carter G. Woodson, a Harvard University graduate and history professor, began this commemoration in 1926. He was frustrated by the absence of scholarship and discussion about Black people’s contributions to America and the world. He hoped that NHW would fill this void. A … Continue reading MAKING BLACK HISTORY MONTH RELEVANT
America has a conflicted relationship with committed Black leaders or social icons. She typically views them as threatening, arranges her financial, political and law enforcement agencies to neutralize or kill them, and then portrays them as “patriotic Americans” long after their demise. This occurs because these conservative forces view Black liberators as “safe” and unable to stir up trouble once dead. Therefore it is not uncommon to find the very people this country once defined as enemies of the state with their likenesses on U.S. postage stamps after their death. This distinguished list includes Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, … Continue reading THE TRUE LEGACY OF MUHAMMAD ALI