(From last year)
Several Times in the last couple of days, In discussions on race, I have had – literally two white women and one white man tell me that history doesnt matter. ( this is what happens when Mercury is retrograde during Black History Month)
Would you tell me that if I was Jewish?
If we were talking about being a first generation American, would you tell my that the immigrant experience that particular history was irrelevant.
the answer to both of these questions is NO!!!
I used to put these actions under stupidly and a benign racism.
Yes they are stupid and racists. there is nothing benign here. there is harm done.
you are trying to convince yourself and me that my history is useless and meaningless.
and that harms me and mine.
I have taught my children as I was taught.
There is no shame in being descendant of the enslaved. those who fought to survive the middle passage and slavery and JimCrowSegregation.
The shame is being the slaver, slave holder, slave owner. the shame is in continuing to benefit, as if by birthright from a system built upon the bodies of the enslaved.
I know many black people who find the history of slavery and Segregation shameful. I think they see themselves as less than because of their blackness. and strive to me lighter and whiter and less shameful.
This movement to ignore a history that many of us barely know and understand, is so dangerous.
for what benefit?
If history is unimportant, why do so many cultures have celebratory rites of passage documenting adulthood and full membership in the community?
why are so many, if not all of these rites preceded by a study of the language and history and traditions of the community?
why was it so important to strip that from the human cargo brought here from Africa?
to take language, custom, tribe, tradition from the peoples enslaved?
and to also deny them access to white european american education?