Monday, February 19, 2007  


MSN is thinking about Black History Month and wondering if we really need it.
First of all, I am not sure that is the question we should be asking ourselves. Rather, the question should be why isn't there more information in our history books and cultural readers about the contributions, etc, of African-Americans? or for that matter, other groups?
But, since MSN asked the question, I think I'll answer it: yes and no. No, because we are perfectly capable of reading and finding out and celebrating what these people did all year long.
On the other hand, most of us don't individually, our textbooks don't, and neither does our society in general. African-American contributions are far greater than just Booker T. Washington, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr, Malcom X, Betty Shabbaz, Alice Walker, Angela Davis, Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, etc. The efforts of these various people made all our lives better in great and small ways.
Which is why their accomplishments as well as those of Asian-Americans, Native Americans, Latinos and others need to be a part of our history, and taught as such.

Right on...

Historically, an American was thought of as being either white or black, with roots in either Europe or Africa. Somewhere in a forgotten corner of people's mind are also the American Indians who added their invisible shade of brown to this country's history (invisible when reading school textbooks).
America today is a composite of the most ethnically diverse populations on the globe. The influx of modern immigrants (mostly from developping countries)has added a rainbow of new shades and hues to our traditional perception of who an American is. Within the next 10 years, the white population will take its rank as the largest MINORITY group in the country. One may wonder where this newfound tapestry of human diversity may take us as a nation...
Human diversity is America's most precious and yet most undervalued resource. The very same diversity that so painfully strains our system today may turn out to be the proverbial monkey wrench in America's societal wheel; it may turn out to be the one factor that redirects this nation's precipitous descent into collective stupidity. Human diversity is the blade of wheat that pushes through a small crack in the cement to offer, to all who care to notice, the promise of a new beginning to a way of life that has become stale and empty (not to mention unsustainable).

So yes, we need to revise our texbooks and update our vanilla TV programs so that everybody's contributions and lives in this country are reflected. Rather than define everything in terms of race (as the US always exhausting) the US should try to be color blind for a while. It would then realize that there is only ONE race, and that's the Human Race.
that was me: d.
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