Black History Month 2018

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By Bo Thornton
www.bothornton.com

Yet another Black History Month has come to an end. Black History Month 2018 is officially in the books.
If you don’t get anything from Black History Month make sure to at least get these two things:
1) The necessity of a black history month is simply because of exclusion. Not much unlike girls not being
allowed in the Boy Scouts, so we now have Girl Scouts and Girl Scout Cookies.   Much of the history,
especially positive history (inventions, heroics & societal contributions in spite of conditions being
heavily stacked against them) of Black people was left out of most US History books and lesson plans
used to educate the youth of America in the US History curriculum.  Thus most Americans of all colors
are severely lacking this knowledge.
Why the omission?  I believe that as a country, just like people, when your “history” isn’t as squeaky
clean as you’d like, there’s a tendency to want to sweep a questionable past under the rug. However we
all know that accepting and dealing with our past is always the best way to move forward. (knowing vs
doing)
Learning the ancestry of some friends of European descent as they discussed where their families came
from always reminds me that I have no clue exactly where my ancestors came from.  They weren’t
afforded the privilege to hand down much of anything from generation to generation let alone the family
history/culture.  However, I do know how my ancestors most likely got here though. Chained and packed
like sardines laying in the blood, sweat, tears, urine, excrement, vomit etc of their own and others. That’s
about the extent of Black History taught in the USA.  Currently even this history is being watered down
to make it more palatable.
Black history month is about righting a wrong.  US Black History is way more than just slavery. There
were numerous contributions made by Americans of African descent that were never in US History books.  Not only were blacks robbed of this positive, uplifting and inspiring US History, so were every
other American of all colors seeking true US History.  It’s not about separation, it’s about inclusion.
2) Yes slavery was a long time ago and I was never a slave and you were never a slave owner.  However,
we both have greatly benefited from the free labor of slaves thus making us indirect benefactors.  The
many many years of free labor is what catapulted this new nation to the Superpower that it is today.  Ask
any business owner how beneficial free labor would be for his business.   Not only was slavery cruel and
inhumane with the atrocities that go along with it.  Slavery has never really been properly put to rest in
the USA.  I believe this is why we are all such easy marks when it comes to race baiting and division and
such.
To add insult to injury the Native Americans were compensated for wrongful acts committed on them at
the hands of this nation.  The Japanese got an apology and compensation for wrongful acts committed
on them at the hands of this nation.  Why are the descendants of slaves and victims of government
sponsored segregation, Jim Crow laws and such told to get over it instead of being paid reparation just
like the other groups wronged at the hands of this nation?