Thursday, March 04, 2010

Why Do We Observe Black History Month?

We observe Black History Month because of Social Darwinism and the negative effects that it has had on the education of American scholars and the low self-esteem it has given African Americans.

Social Darwinism is a social theory advanced to justify a political ideology that would justify the institution of human bondage, that is, slavery in America. Social Darwinism taught that:
- Blacks were inferior beings;
- Of all the people in the world, Blacks were the dumbest;
- Blacks had smaller brains and the least intellectual capacity;
-Because they came from Africa,the birthplace of civilization, they were inferior;
- Africa had not produced any worthwhile contributions to the advancement of civilization (if you ignore Egypt, Mali, Timbuktu, Abysynnia, Carthage, Hannibal, Saint Augustine, etc)
- Black african civilization was inferior to white European;
- Black history was not worth studying in American schools and colleges;
- Students should be taught to despise Africa and African history;
- Students should esteem and admire white European culture and history;
- Blacks were only a little bit above monkeys, gorillas, chimps on the social ladder;
- Blacks were sub-human;
- Blacks could be bought and sold because they were chattel, like cows, or horses;
- They could be worked to death without any compensation;
- They could be sexually exploited, but not married, because they did not have a soul;
- They were descended from Ham, a son of Noah, and they were cursed by Noah, because Ham had looked upon his father's nakedness and laughed.

The first Black Gold traded on Wall Street was Black slaves from Africa, not oil from the Middle East. The New York stock Exchange traded human chattel and grew rich.

The One Drop Rule allowed a slave owner to satisfy his sexual lust and increase his investment by sexually exploiting his female slaves. if a white man had children by a slave, the children would be slaves. Their physical traits were not relevant. A blond-haired, blue-eyed offspring was still a slave and could be sold. The children of the children would be slaves for a hundred generations.

Slavery was more than just a way of life in the South. Slavery was a culture. Its roots ran deep. Slavery was so prevalent that it penetrated the Southerners' gene pool. It was passed on from one generation to the next. White children were born believing they were superior even before they were taught to look down on Blacks.

Then, along came Dr Carter G. Woodson. Born in 1875 in Canton, VA, ten years after the end of the Civil War. He was to become the Father of Black History Month.

His parents had been slaves. When he was born they were working as share-croppers. This was a new form of slavery, covered up with certain niceties of the flesh.

One of nine children, he struggled to get an education. In 1912 he received a PhD from Harvard University, making him the second Black in U.S. history to receive a PhD. The first was W.E.B. DuBois.

He co-founded The Association for The Study of Negro Life and History.
In 1915 he published his first book entitled The Education of the Negro Prior to 1861. It was an account of desperate and prolonged struggle for the mental and spiritual enlightenment of the slave.

In 1916 he started the Journal of Negro History.
He taught a class for Phd candidates. One of his students said "Dr. Woodson's course in Black History added romance and spice to the study of American History because he taught it as a constructive part of a whole, not as solitary fragments."

Most libraries were segregated and not accessible to Blacks. the Library of Congress was not. So, he did his research there. he documented a 5,000 item collection of Black History artifacts containing a Bill-of-Sale for a slave from Thomas Jefferson to James Madison. These were Founding Fathers. Both were former Presidents of the
United States. One was a former Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 1933 in a book entitled The Mis-Education of hte Negro he condemned any educational institution for Blacks that failed to teach African History with European culture, because to do so wouldleave the Blacks with a false sense of inferiority and would give the whites a false sense of superiority.

In February 1926 Negro History Week began to be celebrated between the birthdays of Presidents George Washing and Abraham Lincoln, and Frederick Douglas. Churches and schools were hold special commemorative services to focus on Black African people and events of historical significance.

In 1976 as part of America's Bi-Centennial Celebration, Black History Week was enlarged to Black History Month. An Executive Order and Presidential Proclamation by President Gerald Ford expanded the time period.

In 1978, Alex Haley, the author of ROOTS was present in Washington, DC for a special program in celebration of Black History Month.

Dr. Carter G. Woodson dedicated his life to the dream of teaching contributions Africa and her children to the advancement of human civilization.
He died in Washington, DC in 1950.

He believed that fleecey locks and black complexions could not forfeit nature's claim; that affection dwells in black and white the same. If a man is tall enough to reach the North Pole, or to grasp the Pacific Ocean in a spann; he still must be judged by his soul, because the mind is the standard of the man.

Lift every voice and sing,
'Til earth and heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise
High as the listening skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
Let us march on 'til victory is won.

Stony the road we trod,
Bitter the chast'ning rod,
Felt in the days when hope unborn had died;
Yet with a steady beat,
Have not our weary feet
Come to the place for which our fathers sighed?
We have come over a way that with tears has been watered,
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered,
Out from the gloomy past,
'Til now we stand at last
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.

God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,
Thou who has brought us thus far on the way;
Thou who has by Thy might
Led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee,
Lest, our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee;
Shadowed beneath Thy hand,
May we forever stand,
True to our God,
True to our native land.
"The African-American National Anthem"— was written as a poem by James Weldon Johnson (1871–1938) and then set to music by his brother John Rosamond Johnson (1873–1954) in 1900.

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release February 01, 2010
Presidential Proclamation
National African American History Month


In the centuries since African Americans first arrived on our shores, they have known the bitterness of slavery and oppression, the hope of progress, and the triumph of the American Dream. African American history is an essential thread of the American narrative that traces our Nation's enduring struggle to perfect itself. Each February, we recognize African American History Month as a moment to reflect upon how far we have come as a Nation, and what challenges remain. This year's theme, "The History of Black Economic Empowerment," calls upon us to honor the African Americans who overcame injustice and inequality to achieve financial independence and the security of self empowerment that comes with it.

Nearly 100 years after the Civil War, African Americans still faced daunting challenges and indignities. Widespread racial prejudice inhibited their opportunities, and institutional discrimination such as black codes and Jim Crow laws denied them full citizenship rights. Despite these seemingly impossible barriers, pioneering African Americans blazed trails for themselves and their children. They became skilled workers and professionals. They purchased land, and a new generation of black entrepreneurs founded banks, educational institutions, newspapers, hospitals, and businesses of all kinds.

This month, we recognize the courage and tenacity of so many hard-working Americans whose legacies are woven into the fabric of our Nation. We are heirs to their extraordinary progress. Racial prejudice is no longer the steepest barrier to opportunity for most African Americans, yet substantial obstacles remain in the remnants of past discrimination. Structural inequalities -- from disparities in education and health care to the vicious cycle of poverty -- still pose enormous hurdles for black communities across America.

Overcoming today's challenges will require the same dedication and sense of urgency that enabled past generations of African Americans to rise above the injustices of their time. That is why my Administration is laying a new foundation for long-term economic growth that helps more than just a privileged few. We are working hard to give small businesses much-needed credit, to slash tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas, and to give those same breaks to companies that create jobs here at home. We are also reinvesting in our schools and making college more affordable, because a world class education is our country's best roadmap to prosperity.

These initiatives will expand opportunities for African Americans, and for all Americans, but parents and community leaders must also be partners in this effort. We must push our children to reach for the full measure of their potential, just as the innovators who succeeded in previous generations pushed their children to achieve something greater. In the volumes of black history, much remains unwritten. Let us add our own chapter, full of progress and ambition, so that our children's children will know that we, too, did our part to erase an unjust past and build a brighter future.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim February 2010 as National African American History Month. I call upon public officials, educators, librarians, and all the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of February, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.




Blogger ichbinalj said...

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?
(Langston Hughes)

4:31 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Socrates said that a man who fights for justice must lead a private rather than a public life if he expects to survive.

11:37 AM  

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