Why White People Should Learn Black History: part 1

It is February again. This month is designated “Black History Month”.

F.A&M.U. Black History Museum

F.A&M.U. Black History Museum

There are those who complain that such a designation exists, some who do so quite loudly. I have yet to hear such loud complaints over National Women’s History Month, Older Americans Month, or Unicef Month; all of which exist. I am sure I do not hear complaints about these designations because the general public simply ignores the specially set aside months, much as they could Black History Month.

To those who do complain I could simply advize that they ignore this designation as well, but I will not. This ability to ignore is why we need the special distinction.

But I say we should not ignore Black History Month, but that we, especially the white “we”, should pay special attention.

Why?gator bait

Because what we perceive, is not always how things really are and how things really are should determine what we should DO.

This is true for so many things, but especially so when it comes to white perceptions of most all things black.

Most all from my generation have been taught, and believe, that racism is wrong. We were taught that thanks to the great Dr.Martin Luther King Jr. the wrongs of Jim Crow were undone and racism was destroyed. It is gone now. Racism is dead. Of course we all have some crazy uncle or cousin who is a little racist, maybe even a lot racist, but he’s crazy so he doesn’t count.

At the same time we are fed modern statistics showing a huge achievement gap between black and white.

Why?

F.A&M.U. Black History Museum

F.A&M.U. Black History Museum

Why if racism is dead, do black Americans still lag in education, income, and wealth? The president is black, proving to so many minds that race is no obstacle to achievement, yet the general gap persists. Why is this and how did things get this way?

History holds the answers.

F.A&M.U. Black History Museum

F.A&M.U. Black History Museum

Let’s learn the truth and use it to determine what “We the People” should do next. Let us really dig for the truth, not through TV news or broadcast talking heads, the media is not very good at this game, but maybe read a book or two, talk to some people older than ourselves, whatever it is lets look a little deeper and pay a little more attention.

F.A&M.U. Black History Museum

F.A&M.U. Black History Museum

Because it does matter…

I’m looking at you Ferko String band.

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4 Comments

Filed under history

4 responses to “Why White People Should Learn Black History: part 1

  1. Jen

    Bravo to you for saying the hard words not everyone wants to hear, but everyone needs to.
    “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
    Edmund Burke

  2. Tom Foolery

    Black history. Black American history is white history. You don’t get one without the other. 🙂

  3. MLS

    “Why if racism is dead, do black Americans still lag in education, income, and wealth? The president is black, proving to so many minds that race is no obstacle to achievement, yet the general gap persists. Why is this and how did things get this way?”

    You do not proffer an answer or a hypothesize regarding this question. It is a difficult question to address from any quarter. You could add the questions such as why are a majority of incarcerated Americans black…why is there so much black-on-black crime in the Urban centers.

    I puzzle over these questions and would love to hear your theories on same.
    I personally believe that our President is a good example of the dismantling of many barriers and he should be a beacon and example to young black Americans…so too men like Thurgood Marshall and Colin Powell should be held up as role models

    • MLS, glad you asked.
      The answer as to why is two parts:
      1) history. You cannot oppress a whole group of people for hundreds of years and not expect it to have lasting effects. We oppressed black people from our founding till roughly 1964, which is 188 years. Black people have been allowed to participate fully in our government and economy only 49 years… should the effects be gone by now?
      2) racism is in fact not dead. Reality is that both black and white Americans have problems… but the long term life consequences of such problems are not the same for both. Juries, cops, teachers, employers, and people in general do not treat black and white the same.

      Obama and the others you pointed out are in fact great examples. But the are just that, great. You cannot point to the outliers, those who possesses traits and abilities far beyond the norm, and expect everyone to live up to them.
      We still have work to do.

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