May 6, 2021

The Editor Speaks: Black History Month

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Black History Month is February. One of our stories today, “Bichotte commemorates Black History Month’ had prompted my attention that we had not mentioned it.

We should have done, but as it is a predominantly American celebration perhaps that will be enough to exonerate us, especially as it more commonly known as African-American History Month.

Against my hopeful exoneration is the month is observed in Canada, Netherlands and the UNITED KINGDOM!

From Wikipedia:

“The precursor to Black History Month was created in 1926 in the United States, when historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History announced the second week of February to be “Negro History Week” This week was chosen because it coincided with the birthday of Abraham Lincoln on February 12 and of Frederick Douglass on February 14, both of which dates black communities had celebrated together since the late 19th century.

“From the event’s initial phase, primary emphasis was placed on encouraging the coordinated teaching of the history of American blacks in the nation’s public schools. The first Negro History Week was met with a lukewarm response, gaining the cooperation of the Departments of Education of the states of North Carolina, Delaware, and West Virginia as well as the city school administrations of Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Despite this far from universal acceptance, the event was regarded by Woodson as “one of the most fortunate steps ever taken by the Association”, and plans for a repeat of the event on an annual basis continued apace.

“At the time of Negro History Week’s launch, Woodson contended that the teaching of black history was essential to ensure the physical and intellectual survival of the race within broader society:

“”If a race has no history, it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated. The American Indian left no continuous record. He did not appreciate the value of tradition; and where is he today? The Hebrew keenly appreciated the value of tradition, as is attested by the Bible itself. In spite of worldwide persecution, therefore, he is a great factor in our civilization.”

However, Black History Month has it critics. Most notable is famous American black actor and director, Morgan Freeman, who is quoted as saying, “I don’t want a Black history month. Black history is American history.” Freeman has argued that there was no White History Month, because white people did not want their history relegated to just one month.”

And, “Clueless” actress and former Fox News contributor Stacey Dash appeared on Wednesday’s segment of “Fox & Friends” to voice her disapproval of the celebration of Black History Month and other institutions that celebrate racial differences.

“Either we want to have segregation or integration,” said the actress, who is Bajan, African American and Mexican. “And if we don’t want segregation, then we need to get rid of channels like BET and the BET Awards and the Image Awards, where you’re only awarded if you’re black. If it were the other way around, we would be up in arms. It’s a double standard.”

BET fired back writing “Soooooo [Stacey Dash], can we get our check back … or nah?” on the network’s official Instagram account. Dash had a recurring role on the BET show “The Game” from 2009 to 2011. They also posted a photo of her from “Clueless” with the caption “Aww dang. I loved you in ‘Clueless.’ I had no idea that you actually were.”

SOURCE: http://variety.com/2016/tv/news/stacey-dash-black-history-month-bet-elimination-1201684232/

Oh my!

And when President Trump and his wife, Ivanka, tried to ‘welcome in’ Black History Month they both upset black people by not keeping it to just black people. Ivanka tweeted: “During #BlackHistoryMonth, we celebrate heroes like Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who were sojourners for freedom – and we resolve to continue to bring greater equality, dignity, and opportunity to all Americans, regardless of race or background.”

President Trump decided to highlight the contributions of one particular group of black Americans: veterans.

As the theme for 2018 is ‘African Americans in Times of War’ it is not surprising. He said, “This year’s theme, ‘African Americans in Times of War,’ calls our attention to the heroic contributions of African Americans during our Nation’s military conflicts, from the Revolutionary War to present-day operations.”

Even though he started his speech with, “This annual observance is an opportunity to remember the challenges of our past, but also to honor countless African-American heroes who inspire us to shape our country’s future.”

You see, the President didn’t address their ongoing challenges with racial discrimination. He implied racial discrimination ceases to exist in the military.

Perhaps, it would have been safer if I had not written this Editorial at all.

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Comments

  1. Good article! However, I am preparing and looking forward to a Cayman History Month! Is anyone interested?

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