WASHINGTON DC (NWSF News) -In a surprising bipartisan move, last week, Congress
passed legislation to abolish Black History Month. If the bill is not vetoed by
the newly elected president, Black History Month could soon be history.
The reason for the legislation is that after the election of this country's
first black president, many Americans no longer believe the celebration of black
history is necessary. Some even have gone so far as calling for a ban on the
teaching of black history because they say it is divisive.
Although many white Americans, especially the Right Wing, have questioned the
validity of a month set aside to honor one racial group, there are many blacks,
as well, who would like to bid Black History Month a adieu. For some African
Americans black history has been seen as a stumbling block; just another barrier
that has kept them from enjoying their piece of the American pie. Many black
people strive their whole lives to detach the word "African" from "African
"Ain't no need to be talking all that black stuff. That's just another way to
divide us," says Carletta "CJ" Walker, owner of New City Beauty Salon in=2
Atlanta. "We need to stop living in the past."
The problem of having to be African and American, simultaneously, has plagued
African Americans since the Emancipation Proclamation. It is a paradox that WEB
Dubois described as "a double consciousness" that black folks had to have in
order to survive in a white dominated society.
During the early 20th century, the issue was bitterly debated by those who
wanted inclusion into American society like Dubois and his Talented 10th and
those who wanted separation like Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro
Later, during the 60's and early 70's there was a constant ideological war
between the Civil Rights activists and the Black Power activists that
personified itself in the forms of Dr. Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. Dr..
King believed in a dream where all Americans would be treated as equals but
Malcolm X envisioned a nightmare where African Americans would forever be
treated as second class citizens.
For many young African Americans, black history has been replaced by a Hip Hop
pseudo culture that has long abandoned any connection to black culture. Instead
it has embraced a false ideology that music and fashion could end 400 years of
oppression. Some of the rappers are even claiming that they are no longer black
but they are "Hip Hop."
"I don't care what color a dude is. As long as he keeps it gangsta, he's cool
with me," says New Y
ork City aspiring rapper Tyrone "T-Boogie" Johnson. "How is
learning about black history gonna get me signed to a contract ?"
The disconnection of the youth can partially be blamed on an educational system
that has helped to promote institutionalized white supremacy under the guise of
preparing African American children to be able to make it in the real world.. Any
attempt to add Afrocentric studies to a curriculum by black teachers is often
met with dire consequences.
CG Woods, an 8th grade social studies teacher in Jackson, Mississippi, recently
was suspended without pay for instructing his students to read "How Europe
Underdeveloped Africa" by Walter Rodney.
Some say that the lack of appreciation for black history is due to the fact that
what is usually celebrated every February is not black history at all but the
relatively brief history of black people in this country; a history of
emancipated slaves. Few have paid attention to the rich history that African
people had prior to 1619. This is mostly because the white corporations that
have become the major sponsors of black history events have confined any
discussion of black history to the boundaries of America.
Perhaps the people most affected by the end of Black History Month will be
African American businesses, especially black book stores. Shaka Nzinga, owner
of Black History, Inc, the world's largest distribuor of Afrocentric material
has already announced that he=2
0will close his doors at the end of February unless
business picks up.
Although, some African Americans have decided to allow black history to fade
into obscurity, there are a few activists across the country who are not going
out without a fight. They have started the Black History Bailout Campaign. The
group is asking the black community to come up with their own socio-economic
stimulus package as a last ditch effort to save black history.
Although the activists hope that the movement gains momentum over the next few
weeks, as of yesterday the only people protesting in front of the Capitol were
an elderly man with a Marcus Garvey sweatshirt and his young grandson holding up
signs that said,"
"A people without knowledge of their history is like a tree without roots."
Paul Scott writes for No Warning Shots Fired .com. http://www.nowarningshotsfired.com
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (919) 451-8283
McCain's ancestors owned slaves
The senator's family history includes a Civil War era plantation in Mississippi.
- - - - - - - - - - - -
By Suzi Parker and Jake Tapper
Arizona Sen. John McCain is learning a lot about his family history in the course of this presidential campaign.
Because of his bestselling family memoir, "Faith of My Fathers," which details the lives and military careers of his father, Adm. John McCain II, and grandfather, Adm. John "Slew" McCain, veterans flock to his campaign appearances and book signings. They trade stories about his heroic forebears and share anecdotes.
The family's storied military history stretches back to Carroll County, Miss., where McCain's great-great grandfather William Alexander McCain owned a plantation, and later died during the Civil War as a soldier for the Mississippi cavalry.
But what McCain didn't know about his family until Tuesday was that William Alexander McCain had owned 52 slaves. The senator seemed surprised after Salon reporters showed him documents gathered from Carroll County Courthouse, the Carrollton Merrill Museum, the Mississippi State Archives and the Greenwood, Miss., Public Library.
"I didn't know that," McCain said in measured tones wearing a stoic expression during a midday interview, as he looked at the documents before Tuesday night's debate. "I knew they had sharecroppers. I did not know that."
Census, Labor, Fed Show Earnings Gap For Race, Gender, Beauty
Mar 18, 2007, 12:05 pm PDT
While it shouldn't be a surprise that advanced degree holders earn four times more money than high school dropouts, the earnings overall are lower than might be expected, particularly for women.
According to tabulations just released by the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2006, adults 18 and older with a master's, professional or doctoral degree earned an average of $79,946, while those with less than a high school diploma earned about $19,915.
The "2006 Current Population Survey's Annual Social and Economic" supplement, which is conducted in February, March and April at about 100,000 addresses nationwide, also showed adults with a bachelor's degree earned an average of $54,689 in 2005, while those with a high school diploma earned $29,448.
Other highlights from the tables found:
86 percent of all adults 25 and older reported they had completed at least high school. More than one-quarter (28 percent) of adults 25 and older had attained at least a bachelor's degree.
High school graduation rates for women 25 and older continued to exceed those of men, 86 percent and 85 percent, respectively. However, a larger proportion of men held a bachelor's degree or higher (29 percent compared with 27 percent of women).
Non-Hispanic whites had the highest proportion of adults with a high school diploma or higher (91 percent), followed by Asians (87 percent), blacks (81 percent) and Hispanics (59 percent).
Minnesota and Alaska had the highest proportions of people 25 and older with a high school diploma or higher (around 93 percent).
The District of Columbia had the highest proportion of people 25 and older with a bachelor's degree or higher (49 percent).
A sizeable gender earnings gap still exists, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, across nearly every occupational category. Overall, full-time working women earn 80 cents to every dollar earned by men. African-American women are paid an average of 67 cents and Hispanic women an average of 56 cents for every $1 earned by a white male.
Surprisingly, the gender penalty widens with education. Those women associate's and bachelor's degrees earned 75 cents to men's $1; those women with master's degrees earned even less -- 72 cents per dollar. Female doctorate degree holders earned 75 cents to men's $1, while those women with professional degrees earned 60 cents to men's $1.
A study by the Association of MBAs found that the average basic salary for all the male MBAs was $120,130, while women earned $97,700, a 20 percent differential. With bonuses, stock options and other incentives, the difference was nearly 25 percent, squaring with the Labor Bureau's numbers.
In related news, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis conducted a study with researchers that found beautiful people tend to earn five percent more an hour than less attractive colleagues. Worse, the Fed found that plain or unattractive workers were penalized for their lack of looks, earning as much as nine percent less an hour.
Heavy white women were penalized for being overweight earning 17 percent less in 1981 and 1988 than women within the recommended body mass index range, while short men suffered similar discrimination. Those taller than the national median earned 1.8 percent increase in wages for every additional inch of height.
Lucy Terry( c. 1730-1821 )
Lucy Terry's " Bars Fight ", the earliest known work of literature by an African American, was first published in 1855 in Josiah Holland's History of Western Massachusetts.
And though he was so brave and bold
His face no more shall we behold.
Eleazer Hawks was killed outright
Before he had time to fight
Before he did the Indians see
Was shot and killed immediately.
Oliver Amsden he was slain
Which caused his friends much grief and pain.
Samuel Amsden they found dead
Not many rods off from his head.
Adonijah Gillet we do hear
Did lose his life which was so dear.
John Saddler fled across the water
And so escaped the dreadful slaughter.
Eunice Allen see the Indians comeing
And hoped to save herself by running
And had not her petticoats stopt her
The awful creatures had not cotched her
And tommyhawked her on the head
And left her on the ground for dead.
Young Samuel Allen, Oh! lack a-day
Was taken and carried to Canada.