Honestly, this month is ridiculous to me. I’m freakin American, not some weird hyphenated sub category version of American, I’m just as American as our slave owning fore(skin) fathers and personally you can keep the coldest shortest month to yourself and just include my(our) story in American History, which by the way is not a simple sad tale of Africans brought against there will, MLK blvds and ‘by any means nessessary’ speeches. The first string of Africans ‘came to America as indentured servants and Africans for many years were similar in legal position to poor English indentured, who traded several years labor in exchange for passage to America. Africans could legally raise crops and cattle to purchase their freedom. They raised families, marrying other Africans and sometimes intermarrying with Native Americans or English settlers. By the 1640s and 1650s, several African families owned farms around Jamestown and some became wealthy by colonial standards’. (taken from Wikipedia) Doesn’t get more ‘American’ than that.
When will the folks that create the canon of educational ‘American History’ realize that the history of diasporic people in America is essential American History? Not a subcategory, elective or group of info that should be reviewed in February. This country was built on the backs of many from day one and a ‘lil negro’ month isn’t going to solve anything.
I totally understand where the notion of ‘Black History’ month came. I get that it was, in it’s day, a way to include a part of American History that isn’t generally included in standard American History Books, but I feel this needs to be reevaluated. I have a really hard time holding American slave owners in high esteem, sorry kids, I can’t get down with George Washington, his cherry tree and slaves, Can’t get down with Thomas Jefferson, and his rejection of his black off spring. That’s great, he purchased Louisiana, but honestly stop asking folks to excuse these crimes against humanity to see the ‘great contributions’ these men made. I can’t get over it even if it was the way of the day. You would be able to do alot of great things too, like building a nation, if you had slaves.
Imagine if we had a European American Month, we took a break from learning about the Indigenous American People, Latinos (15.8% of the American population) and The folks who traveled from Asia and Africa (12% of the American population) to support industries of transportation and agriculture. In this lil month we could put up picture of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and tell the tale of how they were all folks who couldn’t move up the social ladder in Europe but they ‘persevered’ with the help of the indigenous folks and there African ‘comrades’ and build a white house and a lil constitution and such. Imagine if we requested that Jewish youth to look beyond the concentration camps and appreciate Hitlers medical and gene research contributions to the world. Can’t imagine that would do too well. America has a short rough history let’s tell the tale a differently from now on.
Why is it important to re-write history? because if plays a vital role in how young people see themselves in society. Everyone wants to come from something great (though most folks don’t). Which is one of the ways we build our self esteem. History is a matter of perspective, now that more perspectives are being accepted it would serve the American people to include these in ‘American History’ Besides the dates, and social impact no one really knows exactly what happened in the 1700s and 1800s we weren’t there and only have perspective on the situations, so if the tale is giving some youth a negative impression of there position in the land they were born in than it’s simply creating monsters.
Black history month points out how segregated we still are and honestly I’m over, you can keep February.