10 thoughts on ““I’m going to stop calling you a white man, and I’m going to ask you to stop calling me a black man.”

  1. I agree that black history is American history, but I don’t think having a Black History Month is the same as “relegating” black history to a single month. I’d say the intent is to provide a time to focus on the importance and influence black people have had in history. What’s wrong with that? Why isn’t there a white history month? Because that’s the default of American history, like it or not. As much as I support people taking a step back and considering why they do or don’t do things critically and ensuring it’s all for the right reasons, I’m not on board with MF on this one.

  2. A) Unfortunately that is what happens, as long as there is a black history month it will not be seen as part of the whole of American history and we (black people) will continue to be seen as other than American, as can be seen in the vehemence directed at our current president, his name could be Chip, and there would still be a tea party upset about some aspect of his character. B) The inventor of black history month had the intent that eventually black history month would be phased out in favor of black history being included in, and taught as, American history. I completely agree with the elimination of black history month, and look forward to the time when that will be possible, but I don’t think now is that time.

  3. No way his name could be chip, but I get your point.

    I’m sure X history month, or Y awareness day serves the purpose of drawing attention to issues that are being ignored (often willfully).

    I live in a pretty progress (despite our governors) state, but a pretty white state (despite our non-white people) culturally. I think Black History is included in the curriculum and taught fairly well and the new standards will do this more. However, it isn’t really there yet. I saw an amazing example of black history developed at a science magnet school in St. Paul: The science of the underground railroad (which “terminated” in Saint Paul, btw). It was quite amazing. When I see one or two examples of that in every school to which stdents would be exposed across K-8, for instance, then we’ll be there (this was a six week project, iirc).

    (That was a history class in a science magnet school)

    If Minnesota is not there yet, and it isn’t (but it is doing OK), then I’m pretty sure some other places are less there. We probably still need Black History Month.

    Here, we have the additional problem that the mainstream traditional white culture especially in rural areas is pretty anti-Indian. The so called “Sioux Uprising” was an appalling event, and a polarizing one, just post dating the Civil War, and is remarkably still part of the cultural memory here.

    If only the Chippewa/Ojibwe had actually gone along with the Sioux, as they considered … maybe I’d be blogging in Anishinaabe …

  4. One of the things about teaching just history is that majority attitudes to minorities is part of it, and should be taught. The downside to X history is that it relegates other exclusionary social practices to the background (“sure the Irish and Jews were treated badly, but this is black history!”).

  5. me at five years old.”Mom if there is a mothers day and a fathers day why is there no kids day”..Mom–“every day is kids day”.

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