Do We Need Black History Month?

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While originally a great idea - as people probably learned nothing of ‘black history’ - is the concept of ‘Black History Month’ inherently flawed? Can we really discuss any part of the United States’ history sufficiently and honestly in a month? Or without discussing the role of ‘race’? Is it less ‘racist’ to highlight a handful of ‘great’ black Americans for the shortest month of the year - or is it more? Does a special month mean that people can overlook the role of ‘race’ for the other 11 months? Is ‘black’ history different from the rest of US history? [While we’re at it - ask yourself all these questions again, replacing ‘race’/’black’ with ‘gender’/’women’. Good luck.]

Personally, I think we [very unfortunately] still need a dedicated month - as people in the US are generally incredibly ignorant about their own history, and history books are currently not sufficient in their inclusion of ‘race’ issues and their impact on the development of the nation. I’m not saying ‘race’ is overlooked, or that the history of the US should be overly vilified - it just seems that ‘race’ issues [not just ‘black issues, mind you…and not even just ‘race’, but gender as well] are discussed too frequently as parallel to historical events, rather than intertwined.

But maybe not. What do you think?

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Posted: February 17th, 2009
at 10:03am by orangemenace


Categories: youtube,life

Comments: 2 comments



 

2 Responses to 'Do We Need Black History Month?'

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  1. ohhh morgan freeman i love you so much…but i just cannot agree with this sentiment. i have less contention with the black history month issue – that i could go either way on – but ending racism by not talking about it? no no, i do not think that will work. in fact, i think quite the opposite is true. perhaps we need to reassess the way we talk about race, but certainly we need to talk about it. i much prefer attourney general holder’s assertion that we need to talk about it more – and from a more varied spectrum of perspectives, rather than just extremes (http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/02/18/holder.race.relations/index.html?eref=rss_topstories). in fact, i find myself excoted, almost giddy, at the prospects of what it means for a man with this point of view to be in the position of attourney general. is that foolish/overly optimistic/ignorant/geeky?

    jessie

    19 Feb 09 at 10:18 am

     

  2. True True.

    I don’t think you’re “foolish/overly optimistic/ignorant/geeky” at all – I’m definitely excited by the idea of being challenged as a nation on race as an issue, especially by an attorney general.

    Def. think you’re right about the opposite of Morgan Freeman’s “let’s not talk about it” being true – dude just seems exhausted by the idea of being defined by race, and caring about it. But that’s kind of what I was saying – we need black history month to keep the discussion alive, since it would seemingly be overlooked otherwise. That, and we don’t live in a post racial society, yet.

    Maybe our grandkids won’t have a special month for black / women’s history [now that’s “overly optimistic”].

    orangemenace

    19 Feb 09 at 9:02 pm

     


 

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