Is black history month a good or bad thing? It depends on how it is used I guess. I would argue that the fact that we need BHM at all shows how little progress we have made as a society. However, the month itself is neutral. It can heal or wound. You can legislate a change of law and abolish slavery, but you cannot change a man’s heart.
Who are the gatekeepers?
Who decides what black history makes it into the school’s curriculum. Why does the timeline seem to start from around 1600’s with the transatlantic slave trade? Why is the Islamic Sub-Saharan slave trade, which preceded it by hundreds of years not even mentioned?
Black history is a delicate matter — if you scratch beyond the surface it all unravels. Once again I ask, who are the gatekeepers? What is the process of selection? What exactly is the aim of Black history Month? If it is to uplift then this would have no place in a secondary school.
The UK’s racism is very subtle, but this gesture is just adding insult to injury. Talk about killing a young person’s esteem. How are you supposed to build any character when the only history you receive is that your ancestors were slaves? Did nobody stop and think that this might not be a good idea?
It’s the breaking down of the different tribes by characteristics that is so shocking. The detail that these evil men put into this never ceases to confound me. As an Ibo man, I look at the characteristics and it rings true. Intelligent and gentle, that is how many would describe me. The heartlessness of this act is indescribable. I’m okay at this writing thing but I am truly lost for words.
We never delve into detail about why slavery happened, we seem to dwell on what happened. Over and over and over again. The “what” that we do discuss is limited and has been carefully filtered and selected. We hear the same stories and see the same figures every blessed year. Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Civil rights etc. What about Marcus Garvey, Mansa Musa, the ancient Egyptians, The Moors, The black kings of Europe or the Israelites?
I guess that would break the lie of white supremacy into a million little pieces. Nothing happens by accident, this has been planned by somebody high up in the school system. Who sits on the boards, who is in charge of the curriculum, who are the gatekeepers?
Black history IS world history. There is no separation. Chancellor Williams chronicles this journey in his book The Destruction of Black Civilization(going from 4500 B.C to 2000 AD). The education system seems hell-bent on perpetuating the psychological warfare that has been taking place against blacks for 100’s of years.
This cannot be good for a young person’s mental health. Rather fittingly, this article coincides with Mental Health Awareness day/week.
There is a silver lining. With the rise of technology, you are no longer beholden to receiving information from your teachers. You can find documentaries, videos, books and articles revealing the richness of black history. Break free from the limitations and confines of black history month.
This would have caused an uproar when I was in school 10+ years ago. Now it is deemed acceptable. Things seem to have regressed with time. The question is how will the community respond, will we sit on our hands and moan and complain or will you take action and teach true world history to our young people. The choice is yours.