Friday, February 6, 2009

Yes, We Still Need Black History Month

I saw this widget at Regina's Family Seasons and decided to post it because I've seen the question asked on blogs, "Do we still need Black History Month in "post-racial" America?"

Yes, we needed it. I'm with Cornel West on this post-racial thing. Post-racial America does not mean an America without racism because we're still human in physical bodies; so, people still see and have biases.

Despite seeing President Barack Obama everyday, or maybe because they do, some whites will separate him from the rest of African-Americans and see him as like them and the rest of us the way they've always seen us, through the narrow scope of crime reports on the nightly news. Humans have a tendency to focus on information that supports the prejudices to which they cling.

On this separation of Obama from the rest of the black folk, if you grew up being well-spoken, you know what I mean because you've probably had an uninformed white person say something like this to you, "You're not like those other black people." I figure this type of white person is at home saying the same thing to the TV screen when they hear Barack Obama speak or watch his beautiful family. "They ain't like the other niggras." (And notice I keep saying "some" or a "certain type of" when speaking of white people because I know that they are no more monolithic in thinking than some of them think black people are.)

But Black History month isn't only about educating whites, it's about teaching our children their history. Until school history books mention the contributions of Africans and African-Americans throughout the text, we'll need ways to highlight Black history.

So, we're still black in America, which is why, I suppose, CNN is taking another stab at its Black in America special that got blasted in the blogosphere last year. I've heard the network is doing another one that focuses on solutions.

This post is cross-posted with variations on "The Black Mother" at The Urban Mother's Book of Prayers.

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