Is Black History Month still necessary?

tobr24u(z6 RI)February 18, 2013

The consciousness of white people has been raised enough to understand the evils of slavery and the lasting residue that a month of recognizing African American achievements is no longer necessary. Maybe a month of celebrating the American Indian should supplant it...

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youngquinn_gw

why not have a month each?

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 5:56AM
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jmc01

Yes, it is still necessary. All history is necessary.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 6:14AM
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tobr24u(z6 RI)

Seems like it is now condescending...

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 6:33AM
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jodik_gw

I think history is necessary as well as important.

Where do you see condescension?

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 7:45AM
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tobr24u(z6 RI)

The history of slavery and its aftermath is history not a special month...

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 7:49AM
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chase_gw

Perhaps I'm wrong but I recall a ruckus sometime ago when one of the Southern States tried to remove slavery from their history books.

Edited to add

It was the Tea Party In Tennessee in 2012, not the State government.

This post was edited by chase on Mon, Feb 18, 13 at 8:14

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 8:10AM
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jmc01

Does black history begin and end with slavery? I think not.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 8:17AM
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tobr24u(z6 RI)

The history of all Americans should be celebrated every day...

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 8:17AM
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chase_gw

My bet is many , if not most, white Americans know very little about Black history other than slavery, segregation and MLK.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 8:26AM
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tobr24u(z6 RI)

Many don't know much about American history in general...

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 8:29AM
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chase_gw

My bet is many , if not most, white Americans know very little about Black history other than slavery, segregation and MLK.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 8:30AM
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jmc01

My bet is that many Americans don't know any history that occurred before the day they were born. I'd bet the same about Canadians and many other nationalities, too.

Comments that I've read on this forum support my belief.

And just because people don't know history does NOT mean that Black History month should cease.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 8:34AM
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Pidge

Yes, I think it's necessary and I don't think it's condescending. It's more condescending to decide to sweep Black History under the rug with platitudes like "the history of all Americans should be celebrated every day."

I would welcome a Native American History month as well. White America's record regarding people of color is abysmal, beginning with the country's indigenous people continuing through Asians, etc., and now including Hispanics. The playing field is not yet even, and it's not a bad idea to be reminded of that fact.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 8:39AM
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tobr24u(z6 RI)

Well, we could have a month for every nationality and race but we might have to double up on some...

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 8:54AM
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mrskjun(9)

It's still important. My twelve year old needs to know that his black friends have a history that is different from his. I always listen again to the "I Have a Dream" speech. It reminds me where we have been and where we still have to go. Our local Walmart does Black History Month in a big way. A large amount of floor space is given over to speeches and history papers, gospel singing and such.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 8:57AM
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Pidge

It's less about having a "month" than being honest about white America's less than fair practices regarding people of color.

I meant this response for tobr24, not mrsk.

Edited for clarification.

This post was edited by pidge on Mon, Feb 18, 13 at 8:59

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 8:58AM
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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

Yes, Black History Month is still necessary.

Seems like it is now condescending...

Black history is U.S. history.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 9:40AM
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PRO
Brushworks Spectacular Finishes(5)

Richard, what are you drinking these days?

Be sure to visit National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. We spent a day there and participated in everything available, including meals and beverages.

Awesome.

Here is a link that might be useful: The American Indian

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 9:41AM
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Pidge

brush, I signed on as a member of NMAI the year it opened and have supported it ever since. It's a truly remarkable place, isn't it--everything is circular like the NA concept of time and history, and the native food is a rare treat. I think I need a trip back this spring.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 9:52AM
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marquest(z5 PA)

It is about education. I do not know if it is still a requirement but at one time the Department of Education had it as a requirement to have a Intercultural Awareness /Diversity Awareness month included in the lesson plans.

I always thought it was odd that there was a Women's History month but not a Male History Month. When I set up the plan I did 2 weeks of Women's History and 2 weeks of Male History.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 10:06AM
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rob333

Here's what I wonder. Don't we all share the same history?

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 10:15AM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

always thought it was odd that there was a Women's History month but not a Male History Month.

The way it used to be was 1 month for Women's history and 1 month for blacks/minorities AND TEN MONTHS FOR WHITE MEN'S HISTORY.

The point being that U.S. History and White Male History were considered the same thing.

The reason a black history month and women's history month were started was because that is what was OMITTED from the so-called U.S. History curriculum.

I know that the history of women and blacks/minorities is much more available these days, but I suspect there are still certain quarters that continue to define U.S. History as the history of what White Men did. Not exclusively, but to a noticeable extent.

That is one reason why black history/women's history months are still needed--though what we'd all like (I hope) is for U.S. History to be defined as what White Men, Women, and Blacks/Minorities did.

I'd have no problem with a Native Am. History Month also.

Kate

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 10:38AM
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david52_gw

We tend to view history as a series of conflicts - peoples vs other peoples, religion vs some other religion, or even people vs nature - taming the unruly wilderness. Historical truth is written by the 'winners' or whoever came out on top. Who then tend to justify whatever they just did and airbrush out the nasty bits.

But that doesn't mean that the 'truth' of the same event isn't viewed completely differently by others, and certainly worth a look and an attempt to understand someone else's POV.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 10:47AM
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labrea_gw

Since there were attempts by some politicians to rewrite the text books a few years back I think it's still important.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 11:06AM
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Pidge

I don't think we do share the "same history." Yes in terms of dates and events, but not in terms of experience and and perspective.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 11:18AM
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chase_gw

I wrote.....

"My bet is many , if not most, white Americans know very little about Black history other than slavery, segregation and MLK."

Jmc replied.....

"And just because people don't know history does NOT mean that Black History month should cease."

Quite the opposite it is precisely why it SHOULD continue. Obviously I should have explained why I posted what I did even though it was a follow up to your comment that Black history was about more than slavery.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 11:28AM
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rob333

I think it is semantics this time. We do share the same history, all sides haven't been recorded or reported the same. And certainly not all credit is given where credit is due.

Vivien Thomas surely doesn't get the same credit as Alfred Blalock in my world. Same work. Same time. Same place. Why not Vivien? He didn't hold the MD diploma in his hand. It was the "assistant" who drove the work, and did the work. History swept that one under the rug. As a matter of fact, if it hadn't been for Vivien? The work may never have come ot the forefront for Alfred.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 11:36AM
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jmc01

Chase, I was responding to both you and tobr. I am a huge proponent of studying history.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 11:59AM
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sylviatexas1

"History is written by the victors."
Winston Churchill

There's no Male History Month for the same reason bosses & supervisors can't credibly charge an employee with sexual harassment.

Their employees can't bully them by threatening to fire them, demote them, or make their lives miserable.

& it isn't just history or just workplace fairness or just any one thing;
it's a bias, a trivialization, of the experiences, accomplishments, & characteristics of (fill-in-the-blank group), that's woven into every aspect of our lives.

Take medical practices & health care:

Years ago, women's heart health wasn't as well-understood as men's, because research data was always collected from men, never from women.

Even today, when there's a whole lotta data out there about women's heart health, we have to *know* what to ask & what to challenge:

A couple of months ago I found myself arguing, in the middle of the night, with a hospice *nurse* who tried to intimidate me when I told her I needed to know how often I could administer nitro because my dear friend was having jaw pain.

"but she's not having *heart* pain? no aching left arm?"

so I'd say that we need to keep talking about the symptoms that indicate a woman's heart is in distress or danger.

just like we need to keep talking about the loose-leaf pages in history;
it's too easy to lose those pages & too hard to re-discover them before they're incinerated & too hard to re-establish their credibility once they've been out of sight for any length of time.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 12:31PM
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sylviatexas1

just remembered a couple of things, anecdotes, I guess:

1.
the little saying "Anonymous was a woman."
So often she *was* a woman, or the social or political equivalent, someone without the power to claim her own achievements;
she was the painter whose works were signed by her mentor, or she was the artisan whose works weren't signed at all.

2.
I read a story in an old magazine about a quilt show in a museum, featuring antique quilts from the 1800's & early 1900's.

Two beautiful quilts came from one household, & the magazine said that they had won prizes at the state fair for the wife of that household, although it seemed almost a certainty that she hadn't made them!
They had been made by another woman, "who had worked for Mrs Whatever".

What was that woman's name?
How much did she get paid?
Where did she live?
Did her employer pay her a bonus?
Did she even thank her?

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 12:45PM
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rob333

And that's sad Sylvia. You would think that healthcare workers would know that "hysteria" (anyone in medicine knows what I mean) doesn't replace heart symptoms. It's almost never the left arm. UGH!

the real symptoms (just so dispel that right now!):
"Heart Attack Signs in Women
1.Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
2.Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
3.Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
4.Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
5.As with men, womenâÂÂs most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.
If you have any of these signs, donâÂÂt wait more than five minutes before calling for help. Call 9-1-1 and get to a hospital right away."

Taussig-Blalock shunt for cardiac patients? Helen Taussig is the last piece of my puzzle. Same Blalock as before. This time, she did get credit, more than Vivien, and probably appropriate since she'd only worked on the last leg. But still, Blalock was the one credited with solving blue baby syndrome and the way it was told for so long? Single-handedly. Not "anon" but during her time? Likely, fairly anon. I will look at all anon differently from now on. I think I will automatcially assume it's an uncredited woman.

Here is a link that might be useful: from the Heart.org (American Heart Association)

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 1:02PM
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blfenton

If you were to analyze a high school history text book I wonder what percentage would be about the struggle of blacks, the struggle of women and the struggle of native Americans as opposed to the over-bearance of the white male.

I sometimes wonder if maybe history is wasted on the youth. My kids both took history in high school and they both took electives in history in college as well. I read both their grade 12 history text and their first year history text and boy did I learn a lot. Most of it surrounded the settling of Canada and the treatment of the natives by the British and French and their university courses centered on WW1 and WW2 and the VietNam war.

It certainly opened their eyes to things but as an adult it was good to be reminded of how people were and can be treated. And hopefully not to be repeated.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 1:30PM
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fouquieria(10b)

I didn't realize it was started in 1926.

Woodson created the holiday with the hope that it eventually be eliminated when black history became fundamental to American history.

Based on that, I'd say Black History Month is still necessary. Too much of the black experience in this country still seems incidental to the dominant culture.

-Ron-

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 1:38PM
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sylviatexas1

Sometimes yawning is a sign of heart distress/impending heart attack, too.

Warning:
this is the "bossy older sister" side of Sylvia speaking:

Y'all print out those signs *right now* & put them on your fridge door or your bathroom mirror or your bulletin board or all of the above.

I mean it, now.

I will check!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 1:44PM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Rob, a popular saying during the heyday of the modern women's movement in the 1970s was "Anonymous was a woman."

Kate

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 2:18PM
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Pidge

It's been a long time since I took a history course, but I know that it was not about African Americans, women,or native Americans. Books assigned were never by women or writers of color. This situation has changed a lot by now, partly of folks like me who include them on syllabi.

Also, Kate, as I know you are aware, many women writers used pseudonyms or, if married, that "Mrs." that made them less scandalous.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 2:35PM
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bill_vincent(Central Maine)

The consciousness of white people has been raised enough to understand the evils of slavery and the lasting residue that a month of recognizing African American achievements is no longer necessary.

After the incident that just happened to that toddler on the plane, I don't know how, in good conscience, you could even post a topic like this.

Unless you're just trolling.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 3:18PM
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rob333

I lived in the 70s, but I was 3-12. I was already freewheeling enough not to engage in the movement. But I sure did dig from where they were coming!

__________________________________
Bill, I hadn't seen that story. My heart goes out to baby Jonah (knowing his namesake, possibly, from the bible, he will. He's now been in the belly of one beast). Make that heart broken. I am confident his mom will help him to overcome such hatred.

This post was edited by rob333 on Mon, Feb 18, 13 at 15:43

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 3:33PM
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bill_vincent(Central Maine)

Here-- read this article, and THEN tell me Black History Month is no longer necessary:

Here is a link that might be useful: Miss. just NOW ratifies the 13th amendment

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 3:44PM
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jodik_gw

Not that it seems to make a difference... but learning accurate history is important in that it reminds us of past mistakes, as well as past moments of importance. Judging by our eroding educational system, perhaps it's a good thing we celebrate various cultures with months or times of history and what is taught.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 4:08PM
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chase_gw

I am anther who is passionate about teaching history but completely, accurately and with a world perspective.

I'm of the opinion World History should be mandatory but here only Canadian History is mandatory.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 4:22PM
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blfenton

Hopefully learning and reading history teaches and shows us the downfall of racism, intolerance, and discrimination so that our future will include more of empathy, tolerance, acceptance and friendship. But so far it seems like it's a long and arduous road that we're on.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 5:23PM
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labrea_gw

You can teach people history but you can't give them a brain heart connection to process that with.
All history is worth knowing not just injustice!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 5:44PM
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patriciae_gw(07)

I am at the moment reading two really interesting books-one is "1491"-a book that is about American natives before being discovered and the hopeless inacuracies and biases of early american history and the other is the iconic "The Mad Woman in the Attic" a serious indictment of male mysoginy in reference to female writers. While not about blacks the same sort of thinking that forms our view of our history and ourselves that is so filtered, so skewed, so biased, so dismissive of those Not White Male. Non whites and females figure in our history as unnamed assistants-like Name the woman who actually unraveled DNA?

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 2:59PM
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sylviatexas1

"Not White Male"

I think the cruelest things are done when a dominant group "otherizes" another group, & it happens all the time.

Human beings do it & animals do it;
if you're a human being who is "not white male", or whatever the dominant group is in your neighborhood, you're going to pay for it.

if you're a brown baby chick in a group of fluffy yellow ones, you're gonna get pecked to death.
if you're a fluffy yellow chick in a group of brown ones, you're gonna get pecked to death.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 4:35PM
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