Damn! Here it is February 19, 2009 and I am just realizing that we are in the midst of black history month. Never mind we get the shortest month of the year for our stories to be told but black history month should be abolished. Why should we be treated special? Affirmative Action opponents must be having a damn field day that blacks get a set aside.
Growing up, all we learned about black history was that we were once slaves and now considered extinct farm machinery. It’s as if black people never existed until whites needed a cheap labor pool. We we were also taught about Martin Luther King Jr. And on occasion there were brief lessons on Benjamin Banneker, W.E.B. Du Bois, and George Washington Carver. Forget Lewis Latimer who invented the carbon filament that went inside Edison’s light bulb. Never mind Garrett Morgan who invented the gas mask and the first traffic lamp.
The point here is that we have a shared history and the fabric of our history should be interwoven. Maybe that one black kid on the brink of giving up would be inspired to learn more if the curriculum accurately reflected our shared history. We all know of the contributions that blacks have made to this country. It does them a great injustice to be compartmentalized into one month. Our history, our American history should be taught the entire school year.
Do you know who the women is pictured above? By the way, we have a great resource here in Tallahassee regarding black history. If you get the chance, please visit the Black Archives on the campus of Florida A&M University. You’ll be amazed! eehard told you so!