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.
It's a great reminder to stock up on bazooka ammunition for the loud rap music in heavy traffic...
Correct. Here is the last paragraph of the article to back you up.
The bigger problem, according to many, is the American public's lack of knowledge of history overall. "Stop asking whether there's too much black history and start grappling with the fact that there's too little American history," Scott says.
Hey, I didn't make the peanut butter comment!
What a stupid poll!! The choices of answers are idiotic - they don't even have "I'm against it".... and we know why.
These are all liberal lets-make-ourselves-feel-good by telling everyone how much we like peoples who don't look like us (white liberal males) programs. Identify and separate out people by race, religion, how and/or what one has sex with, etc. It's racist, etc.
Already is. At NASA I believe Asian History Month is September. Celebrate Homosexuality Month is all of July.
"It's February, and the annual debate has begun. The subject of Black History Month becomes the centerpiece of many a water-cooler conversation."
No, not really. The companies where I worked were always populated by all races and religions, etc., and I never heard anyone, Black, White, or otherwise, ever mention it at all.
Kind of like Kwanzaa.
Real people, working real jobs and leading productive lives, raising children, making contributions, and paying taxes, have no time for that nonsense. They are BUSY. As a Black neighbor of mine used to say, "There is ONE color that matters in this country: GREEN".
The people who do have time to be so concerned are just desperately trying to create issues with which to fill their dying newspapers and time slots- That, or they are growing moss at their desks in Cambridge and other such places.
Re#16 The best post yet!!! One day may be TOOOOOO much.
But there's a lot of material out there that's fascinating. Recently I have read two good books about slavery, the Dutch historian Simon Schama's Rough Crossings and Fergus Bordewich's Bound for Canaan. Reading about the role of blacks in American history can be quite interesting.
I think there should be something to remember what the folks who suffered went through as it was a painful time in our country- but a whole month? Have a day to remember it, teach why it was wrong in scools, perhaps have a day of teaching tolorance for EVERYONE to our kids- .
The following link is a signature link and does not relate to this thread http://sacredscoop.com
It has been my experience that the black children in our public schools are tired of being reminded that they came from slaves. I once proposed a Black Future Month at my school - have black professionals come in and talk to the students about how they reached their goals. Nobody was interested.
Perhaps you shouldn't be stoned in class.
I heard of Carver and Morgan both in and out of classes. I have probably forgotten most of the notable black inventors but, I've also forgotten most white inventors, too.
We already have that. Martin Luther King Day. A National Holiday when most schools are closed.
I'm 57 and still addicted to PBJ's and Peanut Butter and Frito sandwiches.
This month I'll have them on black bread.
But they never get tired of being reminded that they are grossly over-represented in welfare, illegitimacy, carjackers, muggers, pimps, robbers, murderers, rappers and loud obnoxious car stereos?
What's up with that?
Hear the Words of General Leonard Wood, 1919
the text is below:
Americanization must be taken up earnestly and systematically. America first must be stamped upon every heart. There should be but one language in the public grade schools --the language of the Declaration of Independence, of Abraham Lincoln, of Theodore Roosevelt. A common language is one of the strongest influences for building up a spirit of national solidarity.
We must emphasize that hand in hand, with equality of privilege and opportunity, goes equality of obligation in war and in peace, in fair weather and in storm.
There is no room in this country for any flag except our own. There is no room for the Red flag. It is opposed to everything our government stands for. It stands for anarchy, chaos, and ruin. Smash it!
True liberty is found within the law. Law and order are the foundation on which rests business, confidence, and prosperity, without which there cannot be prosperous labor conditions, and without these we cannot have increased efficiency, and that increased production which is a great remedy for the high cost of living.
The war is over. We are confronted with the problems of peace, and organization for the extension of our trade. We must spread the war burden over a longer period of years. We must relieve business of any taxation, which strangles enterprise. We must look to the establishment of a merchant marine, the maintenance of a small but highly efficient army and a first-class, every-ready navy, and the development of a sound policy of national defense -- a policy which places the obligation of service in war squarely upon all classes of our citizens.
This country must never be allowed to fall into such a condition of helplessness that it cannot immediately become a force for right. We want peace. We believe in arbitration. We shall have more of peace, and more successful arbitration, if we are not only just and righteous, but also strong. We must be prepared to meet the organized strength of wrong with a [desperate] strength of right.
We must cultivate the spirit of service and sacrifice. The motto of every American should be: I serve. In considering the questions of labor and property, we should remember the words of Abraham Lincoln: "Let not him who hath no house pull down the house of his neighbor, but rather let him industriously strive to build one for himself, thus by example, showing confidence that his own, when built, shall stand.
"Let us do all we can to help labor. Give it a square deal -- an honest and generous wage for an honest day's work. Labor is neither a commodity or a chapel; it's human. Let us inject more of the human element into our dealings with labor and with those of others. Remember, you cannot legislate this into the souls of men. Without it, there never can be harmony, cooperation, and the progress we want.
Let us build up an intense American spirit -- not selfish, but helpful to a world in trouble, backed for the right kind of an American conscience. Avoid loose-fibered internationalism as you avoid death, for it means national death. America has a great mission in the world, one, which she can only perform by being a strong, united, upstanding people.
Our public schools once had history and geography courses. These two subjects were dropped and replaced with social studies. In social studies our children are taught about different cultures - very little United States history or world geography. As a result, our children know not where they are in time or place.
Who would dare end it?
The other eleven months are for white history.
I'll raise you one.
mission accomplished then, let's move on
[Who established Black History Month?
Who would dare end it?]
No. In my kids' school, it just provides a month long opportunity for racist black teachers to snipe at U.S. history.
Some may have seen or heard this.
As an aside. Isn't it ironic that some take the day off from work or school to honor MLK?
> Can't Blame White People
> by Bill Cosby
> They're standing on the corner and they can't speak English.
> I can't even talk the way these people talk:
> Why you ain't,Where you is,
> What he drive, Where he stay,
> Where he work, Who you be...
> And I blamed the kid until I heard the mother talk.
> And then I heard the father talk
> Everybody knows it's important to speak English...
> except these knuckleheads.
> Mushmouth is what they speak!?
> You can't be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth.
> In fact you will never get any kind of job making a decent living.
> People marched and were hit in the face with rocks to get an education,
> and now we've got these knuckleheads throwing that all away?
> The lower economic people are not holding up their end in this deal.
> These people are not parenting.
> They are buying things for kids. $500 sneakers for what?
> And they won't spend $200 for Hooked on Phonics.
> I am talking about these people who cry
> when their son is standing there in an orange suit.
> Where were you when he was 2?
> Where were you when he was 12?
> Where were you when he was 18?
> And, how come you didn't know that he had a pistol?
> And where is the father?
> Or who is his father?
> People putting their clothes on backward:
> Isn't that a sign of something gone wrong?
> People with their hats on backward,
> pants down around the crack,
> isn't that a sign of something?
> They're walking around with their nasty underwear showing, and
> holding onto their pants to keep them from falling to the ground!
> Or are you waiting for Jesus to pull his pants up?
> Isn't it a sign of something
> when she has her dress all the way up to her panty line,
> and got all types of needle piercings
> going through her body?
> What part of Africa did this come from?
> We are not Africans.
> Those people are not Africans;
> they don't know a thing about Africa.
> With names like Shaniqua, Taliqua and Mohammed and all of that crap, and
> all of them are in jail.
> Brown or black versus the Board of Education
> is no longer the white person's problem.
> We have got to take the neighborhood back.
> People used to be ashamed.
> Today a woman has eight children
> with eight different 'husbands' --
> or men or whatever you call them now.
> We have millionaire football players
> who cannot read.
> We have million-dollar basketball players
> who can't write two paragraphs.</ FONT>
> We as black folks have to do a better job.
> Someone working at Wal-Mart
> with seven kids saying...
> you are hurting us.
> We have to start holding each other
> to a higher standard.
> We cannot blame the white people any longer.
> It is not for media or anyone of this time
> anymore to say whether I'm right or wrong.
> It is time, ladies and gentlemen,
> to look at the numbers.
> Fifty percent of our children are dropping out
> of high school.
> Sixty percent of the incarcerated males
> happen to be illiterate. There's a correlation.
> Tell the media to stop asking me what I think about people who don't
> believe what I'm saying or feel that I'm too harsh or feel that I'm just
> running my mouth because I'm old.
> Seventy percent of the teenagers pregnant happen to be African American
> Don't ask me to soften my message.
> Bill Cosby
NAT X "You know who the man is, the same man that put black history month in the shortest month of the year."
Yes, things like the CW are somewhat significant. Blacks were the spear-point of the civil rights movement that began in the 50s. US music & athletics, which absolutely dominate the world's cultures, are dominated by blacks.
Hey! How dare you! You left out Scottish-English-Irish-Dutch History month on purpose! This is a blatant act of discrimination!! (/sarc)
I guess I'm missing the point, as well. I recall learning about Frederick Douglas and George Washington Carver, Booker T. Washington, and Washington D.C.'s Dunbar High School of the early 20th century whose graduates were considered to be at least on par with white students.
I know that there were other black contributors to history that we learned about, I just can't recall them all at the moment. Also, it is interesting to note that many young blacks have rejected these very same people and institutions because they weren't black enough.