I thought this quote was an interesting and thought provoking one to share considering the crisis going on today.
The one where schools are trying to remove Black History Courses from their Curriculum.
The one where today’s kids only know about Slavery and the Civil Rights Movement.
The one where the only Historical Black people most people can name are Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King Dr.
What about Toussaint Louverture, general and leader of the Haitian Revolution?
Or Florence Mills, nicknamed “Queen of Happiness,” and one of the most successful entertainers of the 1920s Harlem Renaissance Movement? You know Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes, but what of the people mainstream society doesn’t speak of?
To the quote…
“In Africa, they didn’t teach about the period of enslavement of our people. They forbade us from speaking about it. They would kill people for speaking about that history. So we were not allowed for hundreds of years to speak about what was happening and to teach what was happening.”
– Queen Diambi: The Queen of Congo
My people across the water, is this true? Not hard to believe with the history they restrict here in America.
Now, for our first atrocity of the week…
A public school in Biloxi Mississippi is trying to pull To Kill a Mockingbird from the eighth grade curriculum because the language is “uncomfortable.”
If the language in To Kill a Mockingbird makes thirteen-year-olds “uncomfortable,” then I assume the school district is also insisting they stay off Twitter and never listen to rap music. – Julia Dent
“The book is about life in the South during the Great Depression, specifically the life of a black man named Tom Robinson who had been framed for raping a white woman. Local lawyer Atticus Finch agrees to defend the innocent man, angering the racist white community who subject him and his children to abuse. Despite proving Robinson’s innocence, the jury still convicts him because of the color of his skin. I won’t spoil the ending for you if you haven’t read it, but it is even more violent and sad (but with a bit of a happy ending).”
And if you haven’t read the book yet, do that (and I do not mean watch the movie. Read the book).
Next up is the Winston-Salem School Board who voted SEVEN to ONE AGAINST a Black History Course
“Black American children need to know their history “not later, but now,” Winston-Salem City Council Member D.D. Adams said after a mandatory African-American history course for the district was rejected by the school board.
I shared these same articles with my email list and I am sharing them with you too because I am seeing more and more instances of Black history removed. This is one of several reasons why I write Black Historical Fiction. Who will restore what was lost? No greater person can do it than writers. Someone has to write it down even if through Fiction and Poetry.
The little crumbs of black history they have allowed to exist is being erased bit by bit. As the so-called Black man, woman, and child is being awakened to the knowledge of their true heritage, even what they thought they knew is being removed. A few weeks ago, I was watching Michael B. Jordan’s Raising Dion series on Netflix. Dion was being singled out by a white teacher during an altercation Dion had with another student, a white boy. His aunt told his mother it was time for her to have “the talk” with him. When she told him, Dion said he thought “Dr. King fixed all of that.”
Huh? Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.?
MLK is recent. The 60s was not that long ago and Black History did not begin with The Civil Rights Movement (The NAACP wasn’t even created by Black people. It was founded by Jewish white men.)
Black people, ask yourself why our children are only being taught about the Civil Rights Movement. Chicago Public Schools have been on strike for about two weeks ending today. Maybe parents should consider teaching their own children. It can’t be any worse than the school system.
February is around the corner but you don’t have to wait a whole year to research your history. Here are a few good articles for you.
For The Origins of Black History Month revisit that fun fact here, which I published to this blog a couple years ago.
Here’s an article I found earlier this week written by William Spivey. He was featured on the blog a few years ago about his upcoming book. He wrote an excellent piece on Breeding Farms during slavery.
This young woman is getting a lot of attention of Social Media for being the first Black Teen Author Ever To Write 3 Books Being Used By School Districts Across The Country. She is an excellent example of how Black writers can change things through writing.
For more Black History Fun Facts visit the Black History Fun Fact page here. If you are interested in submitting a Black History Fun Fact as a guest post on this blog let me know! That would help me to be more consistent with this if I had help. I am putting together something now to promote that but until then, comment below if you’re interested or email me at yecheilyah (at) yecheilyahysrayl dot com. (The post on Roots has been added to the Black History Fun Fact page.)
Next week we are talking about Nina LittleJohn (Yah Willing) who opened a medical facility to treat Blacks in Spartanburg, South Carolina.