Friday, January 31, 2014

Some African American Poems/Black History Month

As Black History Month, originally the idea of historian Carter Woodson (Negro History Week), is upon us, I thought I'd provide a link to some African American poems recorded for Youtube. Around this time of year, one sometimes hears a couple of complaints about Black History Month: 1) Why isn't there a White History Month? Well, the whole idea is that African American history was buried for a long time under a more-or-less White narrative about the U.S., and some aspects of that history are still buried or under-emphasized. Moreover, just because we concentrate on Black History this month (if we choose to) doesn't mean we're neglecting or degrading other perspectives on history. It isn't an either/or proposition. 2) Why don't we celebrate Black history all the time? Again, the dichotomy is false. Paying particular attention to celebrate or highlight a history during one month doesn't preclude celebrations and studies the rest of the year.

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