Why we need more than a month for “black history”

Every February, Black History Month, Americans engage in a futile attempt to squeeze into 28 days the history of a people whose tribulations, contributions and successes are on every page of the American narrative. For African Americans, at least, the struggle to tell our story and make sense of our place in the American sagaContinue reading “Why we need more than a month for “black history””

The education we need

We need to move past defending needless monuments erected in eras that sent specific messages to formerly enslaved people. We need to understand our history more, not less. That means we deal with the power of Thomas Jefferson’s words as well as his slaveholding mentality and brutality. We need a more full education as weContinue reading “The education we need”

Monuments and the “Lost Cause”

“The myth of the Lost Cause does not begin or end with the Confederate monuments. The myth seeps into many other facets of state-sanctioned life. In eleven states there are a total of twenty-three Confederate holidays and observances. As of 2020, in both Alabama and Mississippi there is a Robert E. Lee Day, Confederate MemorialContinue reading “Monuments and the “Lost Cause””

The 13th Amendment

How the Word is Passed by Clint Smith tells the story of how we have handled race, slavery, and racism in America through several locations in our nation. Those places tell us how we’ve done and how we’re doing… and why too many white Americans think Black Americans should “get over it” when it comesContinue reading “The 13th Amendment”

Black History Month isn’t about white people… which is why we don’t like it

Let’s be clear: Black history is not about saving America or White people. Black history is about us. In a moment where we still live in what James Baldwin called in “The Fire Next Time” the “loveless world” — a moment still defined by banning Black books, exploiting Black creativity, stifling Black freedom, harming BlackContinue reading “Black History Month isn’t about white people… which is why we don’t like it”

“Were there any good slave owners?”

In the second place Clint Smith described in his book, How the Word is Passed, he visits the Whitney Plantation in Louisiana. It is distinctly different as a historical site because it is dedicated to telling the story from the point of view of the slaves. Smith asked his tour guide about reactions from whiteContinue reading ““Were there any good slave owners?””