Saturday, January 31, 2009

In Non-Celebration ...


Since its founding, African Americans have played - and continue to play - a vital role in the history and culture of America. Black history is American history.

Black History Month?

No one else has a history month or week or day dedicated to them. Not Chinese, Indians, Irish, Jews, Mexicans, whoever. And there is no need for a Black History Month, either.

I remember doing a report in school on both Booker T. Washington and George Washington Carver at various times. I studied Martin Luther King, Jr. and Charles Drew. Who were these people to me? They were pioneers and scientists and historical figures and people who made a difference. A difference in American history.

People who just happened to be black.

Just like Michio Kaku, a famous Japanese American scientist known for his string field theory. Just like Graciela Olivarez, Mexican American, who fought for the civil rights of minorities and justice for the poor. Just like philanthropist Stephen Girard, a French immigrant, who made part of his fortune as America’s first private banker and left the bulk of that fortune to the City of Philadelphia to build and operate a residential school for needy children. How about Levi Strauss, Jewish American creator of Levi’s jeans? Or Henry Ford, Irish American and pioneering automobile manufacturer?

Do we have a Japanese American History Month? A Mexican American History Month? A French American History Month? A Jewish American History Month? An Irish American History Month? These are a few examples of a mere handful of famous Americans, present and past. No month is dedicated to their cultures or histories.

This debate can go on and on and on.

The point? American history is made of the diversity of people from all walks of life, all economic classes, all educations and backgrounds. No single month can educate or celebrate or hold a candle to the contributions of the countless peoples that make up our American history.

No matter who they are.

No more whining. No more “months”. Let’s let history be history and let’s remember it for what it is: American history without any biases.

Enough already.

................... Ruprecht ( STOP )


11 comments:

askatknits said...

Oh Rupe, I love you dearly - to the moon and back even.

But......

Here is where I must respectfully agree to disagree with you, my dearest and loved friend.

Viva la Black History.... and may it live forever!

Ruprecht said...

I'ven't a problem in the least with your disagreement, Kat ....

Wildhair said...

I've often pondered this. I understand, to some degree, it's a matter of making restitution for what happened in the beginning of our American history. However, there's been far too much separating and division -- how can we be a cohesive team if everybody wants to continue dividing? "I'll play on your team, but I'm not wearing your colors nor will I play with the ball you've provided. I'm on board, but ..."

I get it. I think I do.

~Just Jen~ said...

As much as I would love to agree with you, in theory, I also must respectfully disagree.

I think the key issue here isn't so much black history month but more that our history books and teachings in the schools LACK significant mention of blacks in history outside of slavery - especially in the bible belt and south.

When the curriculum and text books are changed then I will agree with you. For now, however, black history month is the only time that my son, who is half black, only gets to learn the positive contributions of his culture outside of the home.

Great post though

Ruprecht said...

Thanks, JJ. I respect your opinion completely and totally.

Thanks for commenting.

TopSurf said...

Although I'm not sure I agree with you Ruprecht, I find this post very compelling and thought provoking. Excellent post.

Lilacspecs said...

You have a good point. I'm not sure if I agree or not, but it's certainly worth thinking about.

Oh and you forgot Andrew Carnegie, scottish immigrant and famous philanthropist in Pittsburgh.

perpstu said...

I agree and yet I don't. Great post and you make excellent points Rupe. I agree completely with JJ's assessment....

cajunvegan said...

The educator in me totally agrees with your well-written and thought-provoking post. All cultures should be recognized equally.

Devyl Gyrl said...

I meet a lot of adversity every time I mention something like this. I am glad to see someone I admire has the same thought, although you are far better at expressing the thoughts.

Dunkin' Violets said...

To Rupe and Just Jen:

In the spirit of inclusion and diversity let's remove the B and start a Lack History month. Celebrate and decorate to honor even the most melted in the pot.