“A Return to Radical Roots: Origins of Black History Month”
“Black History includes a long history of co-opting Black narratives for ulterior motives. Whether that’s corporations commercializing it, or politicians sterilizing radical roots, many feel disillusioned or apathetic toward the celebration. The Black community itself has often questioned the use, relevance, and implications of dedicating just a month to Black history, or the message that allocation might send. Given all this, highlighting the radical nature of early Black History celebrations remind us of the intended transformative abilities of learning Black History.”
TBH, dunno if we learn much about African civilizations now — I was really lucky to have an unusually non-Euro-centric 7th grade history course at my private middle school (which also might have been impacted by the fact that my teacher was Ghanaian). History curricula (and English) are clearly written with at least an implicit expectation that the students are going to be white, and there are a lot of things I was never provided about my history that my friends were provided about theirs. I sort of want to contact my high school’s history department and try to convince them to spend time in February on more than, maybe, reading part of the I Have a Dream Speech and actually teaching about, like, the time one West African King almost toppled the European economy in the 13th century. Related: A blog creating a “White History Month” to talk about the shitty things white people have done that don’t end up in our curricula — but also the moments of allyship with anti-racism. It’s incredibly well expressed and thought out.