As we embark upon another Black History Month, I suggest that we adults and parents work diligently on instilling pride in our youth. It is our responsibility to educate our children about tremendous contributions made by African Americans here in America.
We can no longer expect the academic institutions of this nation to adequately prepare our children. We must share with them our glorious legacy and indispensable value with regard to the construction of this great nation. Many of our children are in crisis mode. Young black men are killing one another in record numbers. Were this white children I submit that a national emergency would be in effect. When you exist in a nation that constantly reminds you subliminally that you don’t measure up, you might internalize that message and develop a disdain for self.
When I was growing up my parents had to rely on public schools for my education and consequently I thought the only real black contributors were Booker T. Washington and George Washington Carver. That’s what I was taught. I was — in the words of Carter G. Woodson — a “mis-educated Negro.” But we live in the information age today and there is no excuse for ignorance. I suggest every parent — black and white alike — go online to the “Black Inventors Museum” website with their children. I include the white parents because if black children are being mis-educated or undereducated, the white child sitting next to him/her is likewise being denied a thorough education. Black history is American history and until our institutions of higher learning acknowledge that, then all of our children will suffer.
I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry over the “UC Irvine says MLK Day menu was in poor taste” item in the Bay State Banner’s Feb. 10, 2011 News Digest. According to this line of thought, you should never serve lox and bagels to Jews or pasta to Italians! Come on people — sensitivity is certainly fine, but let’s not be ridiculous! You can serve me chicken and waffles any day and I won’t complain.