YES! Black History Month is Necesssary.

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Principessa, Feb 11, 2008.

  1. Principessa

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    Making Sure Our Children Know Their History

    Marian Wright-Edelman

    Posted February 11, 2008 | 09:25 AM (EST)



    "Those who have no record of what their forebears have accomplished lose the inspiration which comes from the teaching of biography and history." So said Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the scholar and historian who is called "The Father of Black History," and who founded Negro History Week in 1926 to help give this record and inspiration to other Black Americans. At the time Dr. Woodson was alarmed because so few people, White or Black, knew anything at all about Black history and Black people's achievements. He would even meet other Black college history professors who had no idea Blacks had made any significant contributions to national or world history. Dr. Woodson understood just how critical it was to claim our rightful place in the history books, and so the national celebration of Black history was born.


    Negro History Week was originally celebrated during the second week of February to coincide with Frederick Douglass's and Abraham Lincoln's birthdays. As times changed, Negro History Week became Black History Week, and eventually the single week grew into Black History Month. But throughout the years the celebration's symbolism and importance has always remained the same. This February, Americans of all colors are watching with excitement as Senator Barack Obama makes contemporary Black history before our eyes just as Senator Hillary Clinton is making women's history. Many children are now taught in school about some of the lions of Black history, like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Rosa Parks. Who else should we be sure to teach our children about to inspire them today?

    They should know about our earliest heroes like 18th century poet Phillis Wheatley and scientist Benjamin Banneker, as well as freedom fighters like Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth and so many others who were born in slavery but never gave up in their passion to be free. They should know about the following generation of brilliant Black leaders and thinkers like W.E.B. DuBois, Booker T. Washington, and Ida B. Wells-Barnett and about pioneering inventors and educators like George Washington Carver and Carter Woodson himself. They should study the Harlem Renaissance and the writers, musicians and artists who bloomed there and changed American culture forever.

    They should learn about civil rights leader A. Philip Randolph, whose first threatened Civil Rights March on Washington inspired the second, and Ralph Bunche, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his U.N. peacemaking efforts in the Middle East. He, like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who won the Nobel Peace Prize 14 years later, refused to be "ghettoized" and saw the connection between the quest for justice at home as part of a global struggle. They also recognized the need to stand against violence at home and everywhere. Young people must celebrate all the strong women who were indispensable in the struggle for freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Ella Baker, Septima Clark and so many more. Our youth should bask in the light of pioneers who broke racial barriers throughout the 20th century including Marian Anderson, the Tuskegee Airmen, Jackie Robinson, Thurgood Marshall, Shirley Chisholm and Mae Jemison. Of course they should applaud our elders and honor them for their lifetimes of achievement: civil and human rights leaders like Myrlie Evers and Dr. Dorothy Height, scholars like Dr. John Hope Franklin, and cultural leaders like Harry Belafonte, Ruby Dee (who at age 83 is nominated for an Oscar at this month's Academy Award® ceremony for Best Supporting Actress) and Dr. Maya Angelou. The list of great Black Americans goes on and on, and our children should know their stories and be given the tools and motivation to emulate them.

    Finally, we should teach our children as much as we can about the heroes in their own families and try to be the people we want our children to become: the grandparents and great-grandparents who came before them and paved their way. Why is this so important? Family stories are often the most memorable inspiration of all. They bring history alive and reinforce the idea that anyone and everyone can use their lives to make a difference. This is a key lesson not just for Black History Month but every day. Every time we look back at our history to celebrate, we must remind ourselves and our children of just how much unfinished business we must attend to and be inspired by our history to write the next chapter.
     
  2. Drifterwood

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    You want the USA to have a unspinned view of history?

    Good luck NJ.
     
  3. Mem

    Mem
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    I agree, we have 11 other months of white history.

    You guys got the shortest, coldest month.
     
  4. B_Jennuine73

    B_Jennuine73 New Member

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    I am lucky to live directly in the path of the Underground Railroad. There is a museum run by the Walls family, who's direct descendant was the first slave to escape to Canada.

    I think it is important for everyone in North America to understand black history, blacks as well as whites. The black race basically built the American southern states, yet were treated the worst there.

    Canada has a lot to be ashamed of as well. Blacks were free here, but were not given the same opportunities as whites. They built there own churches, schools and whole communities without the help or support of white Canadians.

    We only see clearly where we are going if we see where we have been.
     
  5. camper joe

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    Until we have historians who can write a more accurate accounts of history then yes black history month is needed.
     
  6. Rugbypup

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    Is this really black history or American history?
     
  7. Principessa

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    Let me educate you pup, as well as some others. It seems you are clearly unaware that for over 100 years the only thing mentioned in U.S. history books about Black Americans was slavery. So yes, Black History Month is still necessary.
     
  8. _avg_

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  9. bimmli

    bimmli Member

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    I'm sorry to say that I disagree with the idea of black history month. It simply divides the peoples of the United States. It may make a black child feel good about themselves but what about an hispanic child or asian child, etc. Are they to feel that because they don't have a special month assigned to their people that they are somehow less meaningful in the creation of our country? Or they have less value?
    There is enough political capital in this country to have the history books changed to reflect what all the (willing and unwilling) immigrants did to create and make great these United States of America.

    Let's be done with what divides us and start looking at what unites us.
     
  10. _avg_

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    With respect, why? They've been teaching "black history" for over 30 years....why not just call it "American history" (which it is) and move on?
     
  11. Skull Mason

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    C'mon NJ you know they don't like black folk round hea
     
  12. frizzle

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    Because that would be un-PC and racist? :rolleyes:
     
  13. Principessa

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    :confused: I'm sorry, are you new to this country? Do you really not understand that Blacks are still treated as substandard, second class citizens. Left to it's own devices this country would not teach Black history.



    Are you even aware that we have our own national anthem? Why? Because it was written during a time when we had no rights; and looking at a white person the wrong way could get you lynched. :mad:

    I moved to Georgia 6 months ago and I have met some very nice people of many races and ethnicities who are not prejudiced. Yet the schools here and in most of the south do not celebrate Lincoln's Birthday. It's a Federal Holiday! They don't celebrate Lincoln's birthday because he freed the slaves. :rolleyes::confused: Some schools actually refer to the Civil War as the War Between the States or you are gonna love this! The War of Northern Aggression. As long as crap like this goes on we need Black History Month.

    Yes, it's great that Barack Obama is running for president; but that doesn't mean everything is fine and dandy between the races.
     
  14. frizzle

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    Seriously, try being a smoker, it's like being Jew during Nazi Germany! So many dirty looks and head sways, it's enough to make a man want to stop. (Well almost :biggrin1:)
     
  15. joybunny

    joybunny New Member

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    Holy crap! When did they start letting black people in here? Now I'm going to have to move!
     
  16. jno

    jno New Member

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    Does this debate belong on a site like LPSG? Seems a little disrespectful to the whole subject....
     
  17. bighsguy

    bighsguy New Member

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    Whoa there NJ...I go to school in North Carolina and I can say that we do celebrate Lincoln's Birthday. And if some school's don't, I'm sure its not because Lincoln freed the slaves. That's inferring something about the school systems that you don't know. And I KNOW that we would still teach Black history if we didn't have a black history month, so I think your going a bit overboard with insinuating that the entire nation is a racist group that doesn't want to learn about African American culture. And I agree with bimmli...what about the other minorities and their months??
     
  18. SpeedoGuy

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    Welcome to LPSG.

    The Et Cetera, Et Cetera section has been the scene of many similar debates.
     
  19. joybunny

    joybunny New Member

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    Have you read any of the history books lately? They are biased, poorly written, and incomplete. They do nothing but try to pasteurize American History into something that easy to read, inspires no thought and sales more books. This leads many into thinking that history has nothing to do with our present or future.

    For example, Texas History books never covered how land grants created both white and black colleges in Texas. Not mention why as well as how these schools seem to stay majority black on one campus and white on the other. If you have a chance check out Texas A&M and Prairie View A&M.

    The publishers of educational text focus is not on education, it's on money. Until that changes, Black History month is necessary. However, since there's seems to be an issue with other cultures not being featured, take a moment to look at the list below. It's not complete, it's not perfect but it's better than nothing at all. Celebrating different cultures brings us closer as a people because it gives us an opportunity to learn about what makes America one of the most culturally rich countries in the world.

    Federal Heritage Month Celebrations


    February- Black History Month
    March- Women’s History Month
    March- Irish American Heritage Month
    May- Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
    June- Gay and Lesbian Pride Month
    September 15th – October 15th- Hispanic Heritage Month
    October- National Disability Employment Awareness Month
    November- American Indian Heritage Month
    December- Universal Human Rights Month

    July- and August are still open...Any suggestions?
     
  20. Skull Mason

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    you can move to new jersey :fingersx:
     
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