Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 33

Thread: Black History Month

  1. #1
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Someplace between yesterday and tomorrow.
    Posts
    12,756

    Black History Month

    Well, Black History Month starts tomorrow and I think that it is crazy to have a black history month! I don’t see an Irish History month, or a Latino/Hispanic history month.

    I think instead schools need do a better job of teaching history as it is, regardless of race and include influential individuals no matter what color their skin is. I am sure that there are all sorts of African Americans that students don’t hear about mainly because most of them are only focused into one month. Additionally, where are all the Hispanic/Latino civic leaders that have had a significant influence in the shaping of the United States?

    And I am not the only one!
    This one month of intensive focus on the history and contributions of African-Americans has come under fire recently from actor Morgan Freeman.

    Freeman called Black History Month ``ridiculous'' in a ``60 Minutes'' interview with Mike Wallace broadcast on Dec. 18. After noting that there is no White History Month, Freeman said, ``I don't want a Black History Month. Black history is American history.''
    LINKY


    What are your thoughts on this topic?
    Last edited by michaelskis; 31 Jan 2006 at 11:19 AM.
    Invest in the things today, that provide the returns tomorrow.

  2. #2
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 1996
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    14,586
    Blog entries
    3
    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    What are your thoughts on this topic?
    Here's what Nat X says ...



    Now, before I bringout my first guest, I just want to say that February is Black History Month. Isn't that nice? The Man gives us February because it's the shortest month of the year! Now, I'm not complaining, but I think we deserve at least a thirty-day month. It's also the coldest month of the year, just in case we wanted to have a parade.

    Seriously, most of what I see is an insincere, superficial presentation of black history, usually in the form of television public service announcements describing the accomplishments of the same civil rights leaders and inventors year after year. "George Washington Carver discovered three hundred uses for peanuts and hundreds more for soybeans, pecans and sweet potatoes. This has been a Black History Minute!" US history in general is presented as more than just a roll call of inventors and freedom fighters, and I think black history should be treated in the same manner. We hear about how Lewis Latimer invented the railroad passenger car toilet, but not about the founding of Liberia, the Great Northern Migration or the origins of hip-hop music.

    I'll echo Freeman's thoughts, though. Someday, I hope black history will be treated as an integral part of American history, and not segregated like a BET music awards show or beauty contest.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 1998
    Location
    NOLA
    Posts
    4,468
    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    I don’t see an Irish History month, or a Latino/Hispanic history month.
    Irish History Month is March. Hispanic Heritage month is September. Do a little more research before you voice your thoughts out loud.
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  4. #4
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2004
    Location
    on my 15 minute break
    Posts
    18,170
    Quote Originally posted by Planderella
    Do a little more research before you voice your thoughts out loud.
    I was preparing an elaborate and detailed response to Mskis ill-considered remarks, but after seeing your post I'd say that's now unnecessary.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  5. #5
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Someplace between yesterday and tomorrow.
    Posts
    12,756
    Quote Originally posted by Planderella
    Irish History Month is March. Hispanic Heritage month is September. Do a little more research before you voice your thoughts out loud.
    Irish history month was in March of 2000.... and that was it. LINK

    I was unaware of the Hispanic History/Heritage month.


    You’re right, I should have done more research on Hispanic Heritage Month... but you should have done more research on Irish History month.

    The idea that I was trying to get across is that in America we still treat people differently based on their Ethnic background or race. To highlight one group for one month year after year, and not pay equal attention to their historic achievements all year long is still a form of discrimination.

    People are people.
    Last edited by michaelskis; 31 Jan 2006 at 12:27 PM.
    Invest in the things today, that provide the returns tomorrow.

  6. #6
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2004
    Location
    on my 15 minute break
    Posts
    18,170
    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    Irish history month was in March of 2000.... and that was it. .
    Um, once again...
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/relea...030228-12.html
    http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/...ns/003581.html

    Because many Americans celebrate their Irish lineage on St. Patrick’s Day, March was picked as Irish-American Heritage Month. The month was first proclaimed in 1995 by Congress. The U.S. president also issues an Irish-American Heritage Month proclamation.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  7. #7
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 1996
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    14,586
    Blog entries
    3
    Quote Originally posted by Planderella
    Irish History Month is March. Hispanic Heritage month is September. Do a little more research before you voice your thoughts out loud.
    These are all the heritage months I could find

    February: Black History Month (US and Canada)
    March: Women's History Month (US), Irish American Heritage Month
    March 13-April 15: Deaf History Month (US)
    May: Asian Pacific American History Month, Asian Heritage Month (Canada), Older Americans Month
    June: Gay and Lesbian Pride Month (US)
    September 15-October 15: Hispanic Heritage Month (US)
    October: Italian American History Month, Polish American Heritage Month, Oktoberfest/German History Month
    November: American Indian Heritage Month

  8. #8
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Someplace between yesterday and tomorrow.
    Posts
    12,756
    NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 2003 as Irish-American Heritage Month. I call upon all Americans to observe this month by learning about and commemorating the contributions of Irish Americans to our Nation.
    Although not an “official” holiday in the United States, St. Patrick’s Day has a long history of being celebrated with parades and general goodwill for all things Irish. The day commemorates St. Patrick, who introduced Christianity to Ireland in the fifth century. Because many Americans celebrate their Irish lineage on St. Patrick’s Day, March was picked as Irish-American Heritage Month. The month was first proclaimed in 1995 by Congress. The U.S. president also issues an Irish-American Heritage Month proclamation.
    (Both from your links)

    So let me get this right... St. Patrick’s Day is not recognized as an official holiday, and if March is going to be Irish or Irish American Heritage Month it needs to be declared so, each year by the president instead of just being Irish Heritage month? How many years have a President made this declaration? Is it the same for Black History Month?

    I don’t think that there should be any months dedicated to one ethnic group. Instead, teach real history all year long! WOW, treating people equal... now their is a phenomenal concept.
    Invest in the things today, that provide the returns tomorrow.

  9. #9
    "Well, Black History Month starts tomorrow and I think that it is crazy to have a black history month! I don’t see an Irish History month, or a Latino/Hispanic history month."

    Another white guy whining

  10. #10
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    Staff meeting
    Posts
    8,360
    A Mendelman Hertiage Appreciation Month is certainly in order......let's get working on this right away......
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Sans Souci
    Posts
    5,265
    It is a dilemna that is only going to become more so. As the melting pot continues to simmer the need for specificity becomes less clear. Yes, African American history is American history and is in fact a very very important part of American history... but so is Native American history, Italian american, mexican american... etc...

    Our collective history is way too rich to digest without breaking it down. Presenting history of specific subcultures of our country seems reasonable to me since it is the customers, political, spiritual and other traits of the subcultures that signify their contribution to what makes the US what it is. It is important to recognize the profound impact of all cultures on what and who we are today.....

    That being said, I do think that the story of African Americans is the most profound of all the subcultures. The 14th Amendment and subsequent interpretations of that amendment cross all bounds, but the amendment was initially intended primarily for the Black community. Is an entire month necessary? I don't think so and to be honest I think across the board more americans know more about African American history than any other subculture. The Native Americans are a close second.
    "And all this terrible change had come about because he had ceased to believe himself and had taken to believing others. " - Leo Tolstoy

  12. #12
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Feb 2004
    Location
    ????
    Posts
    1,184
    I think recognizing different ethnic groups by creating a month is a good thing. I don't think that many of the ethnic groups would get nearly the deserved historical attention that they do without the declared months. Besides, who does it harm? treating people equally includes raising awareness of those groups who have not been treated fairly in the past.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Someplace between yesterday and tomorrow.
    Posts
    12,756
    Quote Originally posted by Planificador Urbano
    "Well, Black History Month starts tomorrow and I think that it is crazy to have a black history month! I don’t see an Irish History month, or a Latino/Hispanic history month."

    Another white guy whining
    More like a white guy agreeing with an influential African-American!
    Invest in the things today, that provide the returns tomorrow.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Wannaplan?'s avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Gale Crater
    Posts
    2,859
    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    More like a white guy agreeing with an influential African-American!
    Are you referring to Morgan Freeman? Did you see the full segment on 60 Minutes? Mr. Freeman presented one view. They also interviewed a woman who shared her argument on why Black History Month is important. Once again, the Hollywood celebrity becomes more important than the idea of Black History Month. Why is a celebrity's viewpoint more important than a scholar's?

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Sans Souci
    Posts
    5,265
    Quote Originally posted by Wanigas?
    Why is a celebrity's viewpoint more important than a scholar's?
    Because it was seen by Michaelskis and he agrees with him.
    "And all this terrible change had come about because he had ceased to believe himself and had taken to believing others. " - Leo Tolstoy

  16. #16
    Cyburbian TOFB's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Loma Linda's
    Posts
    1,427
    Irish History Month is March 18, or at least the day seems that long...

  17. #17
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Someplace between yesterday and tomorrow.
    Posts
    12,756
    Quote Originally posted by Wanigas?
    Are you referring to Morgan Freeman? Did you see the full segment on 60 Minutes? Mr. Freeman presented one view. They also interviewed a woman who shared her argument on why Black History Month is important. Once again, the Hollywood celebrity becomes more important than the idea of Black History Month. Why is a celebrity's viewpoint more important than a scholar's?
    Quote Originally posted by Your Link
    Black History Month has roots in historian Carter G. Woodson's Negro History Week, which he designated in 1926 as the second week in February to mark the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. Woodson said he hoped the week could one day be eliminated — when black history would become fundamental to American history.
    So, the guy who created “Black History Week” thought that it should be eliminated someday. Now teachers realize information on significant African-American events will be emphasized during that time period, so they don’t have to mention them when talking about connecting events.

    I say that history books and teachers should teach History for how it is. Back History, White History, Native American History, and all other aspects of history are connected and each even has influenced other events. Maybe it is time to teach it that way and not focus on specific groups in an isolated box.

    Quote Originally posted by Budgie
    Because it was seen by Michaelskis and he agrees with him.
    I just agree with the guy. I personally think that it would be better if black history is taught as a regular part of history because it is a regular part of history. As for scholar's, hell they disagree with each other on just about everything. Are they all right? No... some are, some are not.

    I am willing to listen if anyone and explain to me why have a specific month instead incorporating it into everyday history, then please do that instead of just criticizing me without anything to back it.
    Invest in the things today, that provide the returns tomorrow.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Santiago, Chile
    Posts
    4,767
    I don't get the NEED for a black history month... It's a part of the US history, so i don't see why should it be apart, that's not very integrationist...

    Quote Originally posted by Nat X
    Now, before I bringout my first guest, I just want to say that February is Black History Month. Isn't that nice? The Man gives us February because it's the shortest month of the year! Now, I'm not complaining, but I think we deserve at least a thirty-day month. It's also the coldest month of the year, just in case we wanted to have a parade.
    This skit always made me laugh...

  19. #19
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    Staff meeting
    Posts
    8,360
    Quote Originally posted by TOFB
    Irish History Month is March 18....
    No....that's Mendelman Hertiage Appreciation Month.....

    Linkster
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Feb 2004
    Location
    ????
    Posts
    1,184
    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    I am willing to listen if anyone and explain to me why have a specific month instead incorporating it into everyday history, then please do that instead of just criticizing me without anything to back it.
    1. because what is taught in classes up to the college level are so regulated by govt, many educators cannot teach an accurate account of history without stepping on toes of lawmakers and making them angry. A dedicated month provides a reason (I hate using the term in this context) for differnet media forms to relate histry that may otherwise not get taught.
    2. traditional education settings have a poor history of accurately teaching history. I learned that Custer was good, Columbus discovered America, and not once learned anything about the Vietnam war when I was in High School.
    3. history teachers are not always educated on the social ramifications that certain movements in history have had. I had a high school history teacher that based his exams straigh on historical facts, like dates, participants, etc. We never learned what impacts certain historical events had.
    4. it is unavoidable to receive a history lesson without some bias from the instructor. Ex. I would not consider Reagan as a great president, but I am sure you do. having a dedicated month may allow students to get different viewpoints that they may not have otherwise received, whether it is from a guest lecture, a television program, film, etc.

    Certainly significant events, figures, etc. that involved anyone who may have been black, borwn, yellow, pink, etc. or were from anywhere should be discussed in the realm in which they were significant (who could teach history of the 1950's and 60's without discussing MLK, Malcom X, etc.) There are some historical things that need more attention, so what is wrong with having a black history month?

  21. #21
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Someplace between yesterday and tomorrow.
    Posts
    12,756
    Quote Originally posted by cololi
    1. because what is taught in classes up to the college level are so regulated by govt, many educators cannot teach an accurate account of history without stepping on toes of lawmakers and making them angry. A dedicated month provides a reason (I hate using the term in this context) for differnet media forms to relate histry that may otherwise not get taught.
    2. traditional education settings have a poor history of accurately teaching history. I learned that Custer was good, Columbus discovered America, and not once learned anything about the Vietnam war when I was in High School.
    3. history teachers are not always educated on the social ramifications that certain movements in history have had. I had a high school history teacher that based his exams straigh on historical facts, like dates, participants, etc. We never learned what impacts certain historical events had.
    4. it is unavoidable to receive a history lesson without some bias from the instructor. Ex. I would not consider Reagan as a great president, but I am sure you do. having a dedicated month may allow students to get different viewpoints that they may not have otherwise received, whether it is from a guest lecture, a television program, film, etc.

    Certainly significant events, figures, etc. that involved anyone who may have been black, borwn, yellow, pink, etc. or were from anywhere should be discussed in the realm in which they were significant (who could teach history of the 1950's and 60's without discussing MLK, Malcom X, etc.) There are some historical things that need more attention, so what is wrong with having a black history month?
    Let me start by saying thank you for responding and not criticizing, and I think that you brought up a great point. The education system is broken. I think that we should fix the problem and not add to it.

    Are history classes teaching what really happened? No, you said it your self! So is learning false history ok when there is a month taken to focus on one particular group? That is worse! As for teachers being bias, every teacher is bias in some aspect or another as to what they feel is important. That is why outside resources are so important and should be used on a regular basis. I am lucky that the professors that I have had for Grad school require that we read a wide range of things, sometimes contradicting each other, so that we are informed enough to form our own opinion.

    To answer what is wrong with Black History Month, is that because everything is crammed into a month, not all the truth is there. The connections between things are often left out because they are not part of Black History but are infect part of American History. Often it shows how influential some of the African American Leaders were and how their ideas had a wide range of effects, well beyond what is just taught.

    Teaching half-truths and not showing the important connections is just as bad as lying.
    Invest in the things today, that provide the returns tomorrow.

  22. #22
    Cyburbian jread's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    739
    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    People are people.
    White Americans are the only ones who say this, mainly because it's so draining to walk on eggshells around everyone else all the time. I feel the same way and wish that more people did as well.
    "I don't suffer from insanity... I enjoy every single minute of it!"

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2003
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    7,061
    Quote Originally posted by SkeLeton
    I don't get the NEED for a black history month... It's a part of the US history, so i don't see why should it be apart, that's not very integrationist...
    I think the need for it arises from the historical tendency for American textbooks to tell history as if everyone there was a white male. If a woman, black, American Indian (etc) was there, it is swept under the carpet or they make a big deal out of them as a "token" (ie with a condescending "isn't that sweet" sort of attitude). Also, Irish Americans (or those of Irish heritage, like me) are white, so they aren't particularly underrepresented in the history books, ethnically. Hispanic Americans have had an easier time blending in with the dominant white community and it generally raises fewer eyebrows if a Hispanic family is the first non-white family to buy a house in a traditionally white neighborhood than if a black family moves in. Black Americans are not only looked down upon but de facto segragated in a fashion that you don't see with any other ethnic group. I recently discussed this with a Canadian friend who had made a trip to New York. She remarked that there are more colors of people here than where she lives but when you go into the more upscale clothing stores, everyone is white and "how can that be? -- that can't be sheer coincidence".

    Black Americans are still, as a group, searching for their sense of pride as Americans and Black History month is part of that search. Their ancestors were brought over here in chains, were forbidden by law from learning to read, were not taught proper English and thus imposed the grammar of their native languages onto what little they learned and many blacks still speak that way because it gets passed down through the generations. The language differences make them appear "ignorant" and "retarded" in the eyes of many whites and the language differences are often a de facto bar to better jobs which makes it very easy to say "I'm not racist, they just don't have the skills/education/whatever for the job". (FWIW: I sometimes impose German grammar on my English because that is how my immigrant mother spoke when I was growing up but no one uses it as an excuse to claim I am stupid or uneducated.)

    Does that help clear it up for you, SkeL?

  24. #24
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Someplace between yesterday and tomorrow.
    Posts
    12,756
    Quote Originally posted by Michele Zone
    I think the need for it arises from the historical tendency for American textbooks to tell history as if everyone there was a white male. If a woman, black, American Indian (etc) was there, it is swept under the carpet or they make a big deal out of them as a "token" (ie with a condescending "isn't that sweet" sort of attitude). Also, Irish Americans (or those of Irish heritage, like me) are white, so they aren't particularly underrepresented in the history books, ethnically. Hispanic Americans have had an easier time blending in with the dominant white community and it generally raises fewer eyebrows if a Hispanic family is the first non-white family to buy a house in a traditionally white neighborhood than if a black family moves in. Black Americans are not only looked down upon but de facto segragated in a fashion that you don't see with any other ethnic group. I recently discussed this with a Canadian friend who had made a trip to New York. She remarked that there are more colors of people here than where she lives but when you go into the more upscale clothing stores, everyone is white and "how can that be? -- that can't be sheer coincidence".

    Black Americans are still, as a group, searching for their sense of pride as Americans and Black History month is part of that search. Their ancestors were brought over here in chains, were forbidden by law from learning to read, were not taught proper English and thus imposed the grammar of their native languages onto what little they learned and many blacks still speak that way because it gets passed down through the generations. The language differences make them appear "ignorant" and "retarded" in the eyes of many whites and the language differences are often a de facto bar to better jobs which makes it very easy to say "I'm not racist, they just don't have the skills/education/whatever for the job". (FWIW: I sometimes impose German grammar on my English because that is how my immigrant mother spoke when I was growing up but no one uses it as an excuse to claim I am stupid or uneducated.)

    Does that help clear it up for you, SkeL?
    MZ, you are very right as to why, but do you think that instead of fixing the problem, it is all taken care of by the creating of a black history month? Why not include discussions about who was there, who was involved, and the incredible impact that they had on shaping America!
    Invest in the things today, that provide the returns tomorrow.

  25. #25
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 1998
    Location
    NOLA
    Posts
    4,468
    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    Let me start by saying thank you for responding and not criticizing, and I think that you brought up a great point. The education system is broken. I think that we should fix the problem and not add to it.

    Are history classes teaching what really happened? No, you said it your self! So is learning false history ok when there is a month taken to focus on one particular group? That is worse! As for teachers being bias, every teacher is bias in some aspect or another as to what they feel is important. That is why outside resources are so important and should be used on a regular basis. I am lucky that the professors that I have had for Grad school require that we read a wide range of things, sometimes contradicting each other, so that we are informed enough to form our own opinion.

    To answer what is wrong with Black History Month, is that because everything is crammed into a month, not all the truth is there. The connections between things are often left out because they are not part of Black History but are infect part of American History. Often it shows how influential some of the African American Leaders were and how their ideas had a wide range of effects, well beyond what is just taught.

    Teaching half-truths and not showing the important connections is just as bad as lying.
    You make it seem as if those who celebrate Black History Month for those 27-28 days disregard every other aspect of history and just focus on that particular history, a false or completely not-true history (to paraphrase your words), in a vacuum, and not within the context of a broader history. Not everyone is that myopic.

    Personally, I could care less who celebrates what, when, where, who or how. It will not affect me one way or the other if heritage months are abolished or established infinitum.

    As far as the education system is concerned, when you establish your free education centers, you can ensure that an all-inclusive history is taught.
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

+ Reply to thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

More at Cyburbia

  1. Least favorite month(s)
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 32
    Last post: 24 Aug 2012, 2:21 PM
  2. Replies: 1
    Last post: 21 Aug 2007, 9:25 AM
  3. Replies: 9
    Last post: 03 Oct 2003, 10:58 AM
  4. Trailer of the month.
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 16
    Last post: 07 Mar 2002, 9:44 AM