What if they took away Black History Month?
This is a repost from Black Entertainment USA and can also be seen at Black & White Blog
What if Black History Month was removed? Would anyone have noticed? Would anyone complain?
It seems not.
Why would I say this? Because I just learned that the school system in Endicott New York has removed all Black studies in the curriculum. There was nothing discussed in this past month about Black History, not even Dr. Martin Luther King, because the entire subject was deemed unimportant.
Hello, stop and read that again. Unimportant and having no place in the minds of any of the children, including those that are African American. And this was all done without a single word to the parents, a single complaint from ANY of the students. It was just wiped out without a concern as if it was no more than a piece of errant string found on a piece of clothing.
Why am I upset? What if the school decided not to discuss the Holocaust, or Native American history? What if all the history about England was removed, or France, or Ancient Rome? What if history in schools forgot about President George Washington, just not ever mentioning what he did, or the Constitution?
People would be up in arms. Parents would be inflamed. Jewish communities would claim its anti-Semitic, Native American Indians would say it’s a slap in the face. Whole communities would demand a reason why their rich pasts were being denied their children. Cries that the fundamental based of what is America was being corrupted.
And I ask, in what way is this different? How are the lives and blood of the African Americans that helped build and shape this nation any less important than anyone else? I am not just talking about the Slaves that literally built the foundations of the nation, but the inventors that created thousands of items we use every day, like the stoplight, or save millions of lives, like blood transfusions. How can we value the lives of soldiers like the Tuskegee Airmen, or those that fought in the Civil War, or the American Revolution with any less honor than every other American.
I don’t know how we can equate those lives and contributions as less, but obviously this town in Upstate New York has. I’m willing to bet that they aren’t the only ones. What are the odds that kids in Montana, or Florida, or Ohio, or any other State have no idea about these inventions or people? How many believe that being a slave, less than a dog or piece of furniture, was no different than having trouble getting a job? I know there are more than a few as I’ve read comments that insist that the trouble the Irish had in getting a job was the same as working 20 hours a day for your entire life, with no days off or concern for your health, without pay, and with the reality that at any moment your entire family may be sold away from you and that you can be killed for no more than amusement or the crime of looking at the wrong person.
If we can allow these schools to just toss away a piece of American History, a history of an essential people that helped found and defend this nation, what will go next? Dr. Martin Luther King’s Holiday? A holiday that over half the nation fought from coming into existence, and many still ignore? Maybe the laws dealing with segregation could be next. And if we get that far, why not restate Jim Crow? Hell, just bring slavery back and make it national.
It’s not that crazy. Slavery was just 5 lifetimes ago for some families. Jim Crow was just 2 or 3. Segregation was just 1. And a people without a history aren’t really a people are they?
And this was so important an issue, that not one child mentioned it. Not one parent noticed. Not one meeting was held. It was just understood that it was ok. As long as no one spoke about it, and no one asked why.
So as long as no one asks you if you are Black, or Hispanic, or whatever color, religion, or background you claim, you are nothing. And you can’t hurt nothing. You can’t defend, offend, steal from, brutalize, rape, murder or anything to nothing. And in Upstate New York, that’s what they are equating being African American with. Perhaps the Jews will be next?
Are you nothing? Is your history, your family nothing? Are you sure?
“Don’t learn Black History because of what you know, learn it because of what you don’t know” – C. Miller
I don’t have children. I’m not a teacher or involved in the school system. Maybe that’s a cop out, maybe not. But I am now aware, and so are you. Part of my responsibility is to let you know, and ask for your comments. What will you do?