Skip to comments.Do We Really Need Black History Month? In 2011 America, there’s no need for anything like it.
Posted on 02/17/2011 7:58:32 PM PST by neverdem
To feel that something is tired in the idea of Black History Month isnt, despite what one might hear from some quarters, racist. When Carter G. Woodson founded Negro History Week in 1926, he hoped that the need for such a celebration would gradually recede. For the week to morph into a month did not exactly bear out his wishes, and today, even black people brandish an array of objections to Black History Month. Actor Morgan Freeman wonders why the history of his people must be relegated to a single month. Others more recreationally inclined consider it suspicious that February is the shortest month. Is it perhaps time to let Black History Month go?
The question is not whether black history is important. It is whether America still needs to be reminded of that fact. What would an America sufficiently aware of black history look like? Suppose, say, the organizers of a centennial commemoration of the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo decided to highlight the racially discriminatory side of the original event. Or suppose a traveling museum exhibit of slave ship artifacts reportedly got record-breaking attendance at every site that it visited. Both have happened, both suggest an America that gets black historyand both occurred ten years ago, at this writing.
Just a year later, Washington State Representative Hans Dunshee, who is white, agitated to have Jefferson Daviss name removed from a Seattle highway and replaced with the name of William P. Stewart, a black Civil War veteran from Washington. Meanwhile, white Underground Railroad buffs in Ohio were the most vocal critics of various historical distortions in a planned Cincinnati National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. In modern America, things like this are ordinary: I chose among countless possibilities. If this isnt an America ready to heed Carter G. Woodsons advice, then what would be?
How about fast-forwarding to last year? Isabel Wilkersons chronicle of the Great Migration, The Warmth of Other Suns, was one of the most ecstatically received books of the year and will likely win a Pulitzer. Another of the most popular books of 2010 was Rebecca Skloots chronicle of Henrietta Lacks, a black woman whose cancer cells researchers harvested without her knowledge; the story will soon be an HBO film. On Broadway, the hit musical Memphis depicted the rise of rock and roll amid a violent response to an interracial romance. Another musical, this one about the injustice perpetrated in the 1930s upon the Scottsboro Boys, was brought from Off Broadway to the Great White Way despite highly mixed reviews, because its (white) creators and backers thought it too important not to be more widely seen.
And we also live in an era when history textbooks are dedicated to chronicling slavery to such an extent that critics decry the decrease in space devoted to other aspects of history, and when university leaders consider it more important that an undergraduate know what institutional racism is than what the Munich Agreement was. All of this is why a month dedicated to black history now feels like a month dedicated to seat belts. Both are now part of the fabric of American life, with black history almost as insistent on any wakeful persons attention as the pinging sound in a car when you dont buckle up.
It can be strangely hard to admit that a battle has been won. But especially considering that the typical white person isnt exactly a walking encyclopedia of white history, its time to admit that America knows its black history as well as anyone has reason to wish it to.
John H. McWhorter is a City Journal contributing editor.
Yeah, I thought this was a post-racial society.
I think when the Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton agitators stop agitating, we may realize the progress we have made.
No. It’s white washed anyway (no pun intended). Never a contrary word, always positive, sometimes exaggerated. “History” includes the bad as well as the good.
I demand we have a “Poor Whitty” Month
NO, WE DON’T NEED A BLACK HISTORY MONTH. JUST LIKE WE DON’T NEED A SPANISH HERITAGE MONTH (OCTOBER).
I demand we have a Czech-History month!
We need to talk about Czech contributions to society and how the Romans, the Vikings, the Austrians, the Germans, the Hungarians, the Russians, etc., have oppressed us.
I have a great idea! Let’s have Black History Month, White History Month, and Asian History Month.
Why don’t we just go into a no-hyphenation phase-in and gradually change it to...American History Month.
I’m thinking the NAACCP:
That is exactly what Morgan Freeman said in the interview with 60 Minutes......”Black history is American History”.
Morgan Freeman has gotten wisdom at an old age like a lot of older folks.
Black history month won’t go away.
It keeps the democrat voters happy with their own month to celebrate people of a certain skin color and further segregate them from the American mainstream. If the black leaders ever dropped this, they would lose their power because the last thing they want is for all people to assimilate. They have to keep the race division alive to stay in their positions.
Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Baraq Obama and Eric Holder would lose a lot of power if this happened.
I don’t give a rats rear what color you are just as long as you are supportive of the the country that gives you an opportunity to pursue your dreams. Interjecting race and bringing up past sins only sentences you to living in the past and wallowing in someone elses past.
Rotten way to live.
Only racists deamdn raced based months, weeks,days, testing, political caucuses, etc.
Starting 2014, Black History will be a part of American History in general.
“If the black leaders ever dropped this”
The NAACP and all activist leaders have merely transposed the power of the “share cropping” system in the South after the Civil War, from white to black oppression. Share cropping/company store....keep em in poverty, and afraid of Liberty. Mob rule, not individual integrity.
How can we tell when “their” history month starts and stops?
We are bombarded with their whining racist crap 24/7/365.
I’ve wondered the same thing. My newspaper has it on the front page featuring a different person every day. I’ve felt like writing and asking, “when is White History month”?
Oh, we also have hispanic history time and features about islam on the front page!!
Embrace Black History Month! My son’s 4th grade teacher gave him a choice of doing a paper on MLK, Rosa Parks or Jackie Robinson. Instead he chose Herman Cain and Alan West, having watched their speeches at CPAC. The teacher had not heard of either one of them. But I assure you, when he is done presenting his report in front of the class, she will, and so will the 12 black kids in the room.
Awesome....take the fight for true Liberty to them by not letting them dictate the ground rules.
Wonderful. Give him an A from the FR for excellent work.
That’s what he’s talking about. LOL!
LOL! But they haven’t stood for much else besides national security and a fair amount of crony capitalism until the modern conservative movement got started.
Herman Cain and Alan West, can’t do much better than that. IIRC, Cain is the only one who has actually announced his candidacy for the GOP nomination.
How about a setting aside a month - or even a day, starting small - to talk positively about the great White Americans of the past like Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson or George Washington?
We can do this with Pocahontas, Harriet Tubman, Cesar Chavez, George Washington Carver ... why not for European Americans? Shouldn’t they be encouraged to take pride in their ancestors?
That’s what the multiculturalists want for every group in the world with one notable exception.
Of course even to broach the subject is to be hounded and tarred and feathered as a “racist” and “white supremacist” - because the definition of a “racist” is no longer hatred or aversion or discrimination against “people of color,” but merely having a positive view about Western culture or pre-1965 America.
You can literally show up at a campaign rally with an Allen West campaign button with your black wife and a sign that says “I LOVE Black People” and still, and still, you will get called a “racist” by the likes of an Al Sharpton.
Of course we could get rid of all the race based set asides and caucuses and television channels and museums and perks in the federal budget.
But then the special interests would howl with outrage like they were being assaulted by the Ku Klux Klan itself just like the public employees unions are doing over their entitlements up in Wisconsin right now with the Scott Walker/Hitler signs.
this may surprise most here but while i oppose. MLK day i think a special recognition for true black heroes or accomplishments. is reasonable
Some noteworthy articles about politics, foreign or military affairs, IMHO, FReepmail me if you want on or off my list.
u really should read up on King...the myth has. become the reality but its still a lie
do you think you know better than Buckley....Reagan...and Goldwater who were there?
ill take their word for it....just for starters King supported our enemies in a time. of war....no different than Fonda...cept he got a holiday
Is he being funny when he says, “typical white person”? Isn’t that what Bambi called his typical white grandmother?
What about the Indians? If ever a group got screwed it was them. Black have MLK day—what do Native Americans Have? Thanksgiving? The Mexicans have Cinco de Mayo, Irish Saint Pats, Italians Columbus Day,Chinese—the Lunar New Year. Blacks should have a day—but that’s it.
Black History Coupla Hours should be more than sufficient.
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Thanks. My wife and I can't afford private or homeschooling right now. So we've decided to arm our 9-year old with the Constitution, 'Liberty and Tyranny' and FACTS; and told him he should question everything he is taught that does not conform to those facts, and let the chips falls where they may.
“Yeah, I thought this was a post-racial society.”
It is. The Ministry of Truth has so decreed.
What's special about 2014?
I have a great idea! Lets have Black History Month, White History Month, and Asian History Month.
AN EVIL ICEPEOPLE PLOT!
February WOULD BE THE SHORTEST MONTH!
(Insert screaming Minister Jeremiah Wright sound effects here, spittle soaked microphone included, hat tip for “Icepeople” science reference to Minister Farrakhan)
We boiled down all the presidents’ birthdays down to one day, President’s Day.
Let’s just have All Americans Month where we celebrate the various colors of our skins and be done with it.
(This is so stupid.)
They stood for civil rights against the Southern racist RATs. Eisenhower sent troops to Arkansas in 1957 and nationalized the AKNG to protect the civil rights of black students.
Without Republicans, LBJ's civil rights act would have been killed by the RATs.
Until around 1935, most black politicians were Republicans.
How come Black History Month occurs every other month?
Don’t we already have a Black History Week? Every month?
Which month is White History Month?
It was, until they showed that completely fictionalized movie ROOTS.
I have a better idea. Let's have AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH, each month school is in session.
Dang it. You beat me to it.
I meant 2013 (too sleepy last night). Obama is out of office, and we can start to see some real leadership.
Thanks. It was a puzzle.
Obama is out of office
For which we humbly pray in Jesus' Holy Name, Amen.