Skip to comments.Americans Divided Over Black History Month (MSN Asks: Do We Need It?)
Posted on 02/19/2007 9:22:51 AM PST by Mr. Brightside
A poll of almost 10,000 Americans conducted in January shows there is no consensus on the topic of Black History Month. The survey, conducted by MSN and Zogby International, found that 43 percent of Americans believe setting one month of the year to focus on a racially defined observance is a token gesture, while 39 percent say that is an opportunity to raise awareness of African-American history and accomplishments (18 percent are not sure).
Is it, as one scholar wrote in the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, "simply a guilt-driven public relations scam to pacify blacks who otherwise receive no attention on the bread and butter issues of education, jobs, and health care?"
African-Americans have varying opinions on the issue, too. The poll found that 28 percent feel that dedicating only February to black history is a token gesture. Celebrities Morgan Freeman and Bill Cosby have spoken out against it. "I don't want a black history month," Freeman said on 60 Minutes. "Black history is American history."
More and more, African-American scholars are beginning to resent the fact that in February "their opinions are sought out, and then they are ignored the rest of the year.
Some black scholars refuse to lecture in February because of that," Slater says.
(Excerpt) Read more at men.msn.com ...
Do We Need Black History Month?
Let's hear it: What do you think?
What % said deep annoyance. Thats the camp im in.
It's wrong. No one should get any special privileges. Either there's a Jewish History Month, A Christian, a Polish, a French, an Italian, etc, or there is nothing.
Once you've heard who invented peanut butter, that's about it. Do we really need that year in and year out?
Segregating a month's observances along racial lines. It worked so well in the past... /s
Like affirmative action, it sends the wrong impression. The designation of a "month" not only presumes that we ignore "black history" (and what pray is that?) the rest of the year . . . it also strongly implies that we have to make a special effort to hunt up people of the "right color", as though they can't be instructed or inspired by people who reflect light at a different rate.
It also leads to sloppy and even fraudulent "scholarship" in an effort to find people in history whether they were really there or not. Classic example is Crispus Attucks (the ringleader of the rioters in the "Boston Massacre" - not exactly a hero or role model) who may well have been a Natick Indian and not black at all.
History is history is history for everyone regardless. There's no need to segregate any race out for special attention.
Bravo, Mr. Freeman.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel held an opinion that there was no history there.
In the spirit of equality, there should also be a White History Month, an Asian History Month, a Brown History Month, etc., shouldn't there?
Just saying "White History" will get you branded as a racist these days by the ACLU, sadly. I think there is no longer a need for Black History Month, or Affirmative Action. Let people get by on their own merits, not because something is given to them for free.
It would be fun to see just how many people would even know what month is Black History Month. I suspect more people could find Iraq on a map that would know what month is involved.
I think it's funny when the Jazz station on XM radio does their "black history month." As if blacks are underrepresented in Jazz.
How about a special tribute to under-appreciated black players of the NBA?
I asked my boss the other day if we could have a "Barefoot, Hillbilly Month." That way we could celebrate my heritage.
I call it progress.
Black History Month is a flaming poster child for racial double standards.
Black History Minute
Shabazz K. Morton.....Eddie Murphy
Shabazz K. Morton: Hello, my name is Professor Shabazz K. Morton. In 1895, at the Tuskagee Institute in Alabama, a black man named George Washington Carver developed a new method of soul.. soil.. improvement through crop rotation.. [ a couple of audience members snicker at Murphy's blooper, causing him to break character ] So I messed up - SHUT UP! [ adjusting his shades so he can read the cue cards ] Stop clapping before y'all make me smile! [ back in character ] ..to end the South African cultural dependence on cotton alone. As a result, Carver came up with hundreds of industrial uses for the peanut. Sure, industrial uses.
Meanwhile, one night, he's having a few friends over to his house for dinner. And one of them leans over and says to Dr. Carver, "Excuse me, George? What's that your putting on your bread?" Carver says, "Oh, that's nothing but a butter substitute that I made from peanuts. I can't digest all that animal fat, you know." So the other fellow tasted it, and he says, "Hmm.. this pastes pretty.. this tastes.." [ the audience again laughs at Murphy's blooper, causing him to break character again ] Yeah? Keep on smiling. [ back in character ] "This tastes pretty good, man. Mind if we take a peek at the recipe?" And Dr. Carver says, "Take a peek? Man, you can have it. Who's gonna eat butter made out of peanuts? No, I'm working on a method to compress peanuts into phonograph needles."
So, Professor Carver's two dinner guests.. [ Murphy removes his shades for better cue card reading ] ..Edward "Skippy" Williamson and Frederick "Jif" Armstrong - two white men - stole George Washington Carver's recipe for peanut butter, copyrighted it, and reaped untold fortunes from it. While Dr. Carver died penniless and insane, still trying to play a phonograph record with a peanut.
This has been "Black History Minute". I'm Professor Shabazz K. Morton. Good night.
I better stay off this one I can only get myself in trouble.
Just let me say Black History Month is a boatload of horse Hockey.
I agree with Mr. Freeman, but black history does tend to get ignored if it's mixed in with everything else. Schools have to cover too much ground in the course of a year-long sequence on American history. My solution is to have kids required to take two years of American history. Then there would be time for a closer study of the founding, black history, World War II, the Cold War, and other things that get short shrift.
When I was a kid we never heard about black history so I think it's good it's been pushed into the public eye a little more. I'm white but have enjoyed reading and studying about it. There's more to it than peanut butter.
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