This Is What Black History Month Has Been Reduced To
Some days ago I read that as a Black History Month exercise black students in Allentown, PA., were to tell their classmates what it was like to be black. Then, yesterday I saw an article that heralded: “Community leaders are celebrating Black History Month in Allentown this weekend…The sixth annual celebration will include a panel discussion, community awards, an art exhibit, live music and so much more.” (Black History Month Celebrations In Allentown; Ali Reid; wfmz.com; 2/26/2020) The article included a photo of a woman dressed in an outfit that more closely resembled a cross between a horrible circus outfit and something worn in a Mardi Gras Parade.
I asked myself the question, is this the type of minstrel show Black History Month has been reduced to: Children being inculcated to view themselves as different and inferior because of their skin color by teachers who sadistically delight in furthering the damnable heterodoxy of white guilt, and people dressed in ridiculous clothing?
If the answer to my questions is yes, and it obviously is, then the entire original intent by Carter G. Woodson, the Founder of Negro History Week, has been turned into a pathetic circus event.
Why should we not question the value of Black History Month as such? Why should we not study the true value of a month dedicated to teaching measured snippets of the past, when the children of the present go uneducated?
I am not opposed to the teaching of black history. I am opposed, however, to the charade Black History Month has become. American black history is not dashikis and pan Africanism – nor is it Arthur Haley’s mythical account known as “Roots.”
Black History Month’s goal – properly taught as originally intended – was to teach factual history with the recognition of blacks who contributed to same. One could also make the case that we need a Shakespeare month, a Mark Twain month, a Founding Father’s month and a history of war month to compensate for the fraudulent revisionist exclusionary teachings in most public-school classrooms today, but I digress.
Black History was initiated (as Negro History Week) as a method of inclusion. Today, it has become a tool to further self-imposed separation and exclusion. But again, I digress.
Black children in disturbingly large numbers are receiving an inferior education. And while it is easy to blame everyone from the president down – ultimately the fault lies with the parents, the children and the abysmal academic culture of the National Education Association.
It is more important children are able to spell the names of Marcus Garvey, W.E.B. Dubois and Malcolm X (albeit I personally consider these least worthy of recognition) than it is for them to simply hear about same one month each year. It’s important they can recognize those names on the printed page, which means it’s more important they can read.
I know I’m treading on the holy grail of “blackdom,” but it is time we view things in their proper perspective.
I recall observing students leaving an inner-city middle school in PA. It was deeply disturbing watching black male child, after black male child exiting the school with pants below their hips, hats cocked to the side, gaudy fake jewelry and over sized jackets or hooded sweat shirts but with not one book to be seen.
It could be argued, I suppose, that perhaps they did their lessons in study hall, but I wouldn’t be inclined to make “book” on that bet.
I submit it is time to pull the curtain back and reveal the wizard pulling the levers of failure for these children. Black children must be equipped with competitive math and science skills. They must possess communication skills that exceed Ebonics. They must, without question possess social skills beyond those embraced on the street corner. Black children must be taught that the world doesn’t end at the corner of their neighborhood – nor does it begin with rap music, drugs, violence and the hope of getting rich playing a sport.
It is an incomparable injustice perpetrated on these young to waste a month with TV commercials and charlatans fomenting a prescribed history of social injustice when the children being indoctrinated are unable to read, write or comprehend at their grade levels.
When Carter Woodson initiated Negro History Week, black children took pride in being able to read and write. Today the polar opposite is the case. It is the lack of marketable linguistic, social and educational skills that cause the disproportionate rates of unemployment and income disparity among blacks.
The primal cry is more money will cure these ills. But decades of bowing to those voices have produced naught save higher property taxes as evidenced for example, by the District of Columbia, New York and Philadelphia. Better parenting, discipline and less social progression is needed. An insistence upon increased levels of academic performance and more time spent teaching in the present, are critical keys to success.
Apart from these, teaching a bastardized version of history fraught with falsities for one month – while ignoring the urgency of our present – is a promising way to further marginalize and too promote the fallacious mantra called lack of black opportunity and white privilege.
About the Author
Mychal S. Massie is an ordained minister who spent 13 years in full-time Christian Ministry. Today he serves as founder and Chairman of the Racial Policy Center (RPC), a think tank he officially founded in September 2015. RPC advocates for a colorblind society. He was founder and president of the non-profit “In His Name Ministries.” He is the former National Chairman of a conservative Capitol Hill think tank; and a former member of the think tank National Center for Public Policy Research. Read entire bio here