Tag Archives: history

Are Ultra Conservatives in Texas Deciding What History is in Your Child’s Textbooks?

In a 10-5 party line vote last week, the BoE rammed through a vast number of changes to the Texas state history standards, all of which conform to the über-far-right’s twisted view of reality. In these new standards, Hispanics are ignored, Black Panthers are added to provide balance to the kids learning about Martin Luther King, Jr., and get this, Thomas Jefferson was removed*. discovermagazine.com

If you’re a parent, you should be aware that a movement is going on that is dedicated to changing your child’s textbooks.  Most parents trust that their local school districts are buying books that accurately represent american history and social studies in a way that is not significantly biased by any view, let alone ultra-conservative or ultra-liberial.  Well, that may not be the case.  You might be very concerned if you look through your child’s history books.  I would encourage you to take a look at this news and then find out if your child’s textbooks have been affected.  Watch this Video from CNN for details.

Articles:

From AC360 - In Texas today, the state’s board of education approved a new social studies curriculum that conservatives say is meant to correct for a liberal bias among the teachers who initially drafted the standards. The vote came after days of charged debate.

Out: Calling the U.S. government “Democratic”.  In: Calling it a “Constitutional Republic.” Also out: too much talk about Thomas Jefferson and the enlightenment, which stressed reasoning and science over blind faith. Also In: More recognition of the contributions of religious leaders, like Moses.

All of this matters, because with almost five million students in Texas, the state buys a lot of textbooks that could determine what publishers put out for America’s other school children. Though, in this digital age,  that is not as big of a concern as in past years.

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O.J. Simpson, Rodman, RuPaul: Black History Role Models?

LA Times – In a letter addressed to parents and community members, a South Los Angeles elementary school principal apologized Thursday for “questionable decisions” about which prominent African Americans to highlight in a parade marking the culmination of Black History Month.

Lorraine Abner’s letter did not name the individuals. But her apology came after three teachers at Wadsworth Avenue Elementary School were suspended while the Los Angeles Unified School District investigates allegations that they had their first-, second- and fourth-grade students carry pictures of O.J. Simpson, Dennis Rodman and RuPaul at last Friday’s event.

“Unfortunately, questionable decisions were made in the selection of noteworthy African American role models,” the letter said. “As the principal, I offer my apology for these errors in judgment.”

I don’t know about you, but for me Black History is Black History. If we remove one part of it, we are not telling the whole story. It is the whole story that makes history. We as African-Americans have had to fight to have our history included.   Now it would be a little hypocritical for us to start excluding people. To now start removing people or making apologies is unacceptable.

RuPaul represents a portion of our community.  We can’t celebrate our LGBTQ brothers and sisters?  There was a time in history before the trial and acquittal when O.J Simpson was a hero.  You remember those commercials.  Dennis Rodman was one hell of a basketball player. I think that Michael Jordan could give you a list of reasons why he should not be discarded.

I’d also like to note that the tale of O.J is not equal to the stories of Rodman and Rupaul.  Come on, people.  LA, I thought you guys were more progressive than this.  Oh no, I forgot…Prop 8.    Ok, but yall do like basketball so Rodman is ok, right.  Oh no, Yall only like the Lakers!  SMH

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Noose Found on UC San Diego Campus as Racial Tentions Continue

You know it’s a racial incident when a noose is found.  A noose.  That lasting symbol of white supremacy.   When someone puts a noose up…”them’s fighting words”.

According to Huffington Post, last night, a noose was found hanging on a light in the campus library, according to the UC Regents (Live)blog. A female student admitted to placing the noose there today. This incident comes after the “Compton Cookout” Black History Month drama that we’ve been following here on Hello, Negro.  Photo of the noose comes from http://ucregentlive.wordpress.com

“This is truly a dark day in the history of this university,” Chancellor Marye Anne Fox told students gathered along Library Walk. “It’s abhorrent and untenable.”

I say, America, hate is on your doorstep.  You need to let it in and have a conversation about what is and is  not to be tolerated in YOUR house.  To the students at UC San Diego, I suggest that you band together.  Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, Middle Eastern…an injustice to one is an injustice to all and the eyes of the nation are upon you.  Sometimes the young have to be the example of and change and evolution of thought for the old, for the establishment.

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Open Thread: What was your favorite (or most memorable) African American Moment of 2008?

We saw one of the greatest African American moments in African American history on Nov 4th when Barack Obama was elected the 44th president of these United States.  Hello, Negro wants to know about the other moments that you feel are significant in 2008.  Maybe is was a terrible moment, a sad moment, a wonderful moment, or a personal moment.

What spoke to you in 2008?
What made you mad in 2008?
What made you say “That negro is crazy!” in 2008?
What moved your black, beautiful soul in 2008? :)

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Slaves in the White House

From a very interesting article in the International Herald Tribune

“…Slaves who worked inside and outside the White House were known for their labors. Washington planner Pierre L’Enfant rented slaves from nearby slaveowners to dig the foundation for the White House, and White House designer James Hoben used some of his slave carpenters to build the White House.

President George Washington forced slaves from Mount Vernon to work as staff inside “the President’s House” in Philadelphia during his term, starting a tradition of enslaved men and women working for the president in his residence that would continue until the 1850s. Not only did they work in the White House, enslaved men and women lived there as well.

According to the White House Historical Association, the slave and servant quarters were in the basement, now called the ground floor. The rooms now include the library, china room, offices and the formal Diplomatic Reception Room. At least one African-American baby was born there, in 1806 to Fanny and Eddy, two of Jefferson’s slaves. The child, who was considered a slave too, died two years later.

History values these slaves for more than just their labor. Continue reading

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French schoolbooks riddled with racist stereotypes

A study of more than 3,000 illustrations found in 29 of France’s most commonly used school books revealed that black people were frequently portrayed as jazz musicians, good sprinters or poor, while children with foreign backgrounds were shown to be inferior academically than their white French peers.

The report by Halde, the state anti-discrimination body, cites an example of a picture of a girl with a “nice French name” getting top marks while her foreign-sounding classmate, Samira, failed the exercise.

In geography and social history textbooks, Africans are consistently shown as “poor and sick” – with the exception of one photograph of a “smiling Maasai herdsman surrounded by his flock while talking on a mobile phone”.

The French education system wants to make it clear that discrimination is an offence. It conceded that improvement had been made in recent years but there was a lack of “counter-examples” – positive images to counter negative ones.

Source

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Yes WE Did: Barack Obama wins the Presidency of the United States of America

I’m going to write something deep and heartfelt later today when I really have a chance to let Barack Obama’s win sink in. I’m going to get all profound (hopefully) and really do this historic event in America’s history justice. But right now…right now I’m just going to go on straight emotion and the since of pride I feel as an African American. I think this photo says it for me.
Obama Pictures and McCain Pictures

The First Black President of the United States…and he is really a force for Unity. Oh you should have seen the streets of NW DC and the crowds at the White House last night. So diverse…old, young, black, white, asian, hispanic…everyone was out and happy about Barack’s win. There was a new energy that has nothing to do with politics. It was about possiblities and a belief that “We the People” still exists. We can still be heard as one voice and affect change, real change.

“I am the hope and the dream of the slave”. Yes I am. Yes We Can. Yes WE Did. Congratulations America. The world applauds us.

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Morehouse’s first white valedictorian

I had to share this article because the guy is from my hometown, Kansas City. He’s a cutie too. One of those Spelman girls needs to try “Something New”. LOL  Oh reverse racism…you’ll see it in the article.  Sad, but…I’m not surprised.  Come on Morehouse Men…let’s try to be a little more open minded!

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) — Joshua Packwood knows what it’s like to be a minority. This weekend he’ll be the first white valedictorian to graduate from the historically black, all male Morehouse College in the school’s 141-year history.

Morehouse, in Atlanta, Georgia, is one the nation’s most prestigious universities of its kind. For more than a century, the school has prided itself on personifying the dream of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., one of the school’s most notable alums, by producing “Morehouse Men” – intelligent and successful black leaders.

“Because I’m one of the only white students, it’s easy to call me ‘the white boy,’ I’m naturally going to stand out,” says Packwood.

But Packwood, 22, doesn’t stand out solely because he is white or has maintained a 4.0 grade point average. For those who don’t know him, what is surprising is that a Rhodes Scholar finalist turned down a full scholarship to Columbia University to attend the all-black men’s university.

This came naturally to Packwood, who attended a predominantly black high school.

“A large majority of my friends, like all my girlfriends have been minorities,” says Packwood. “So it was very, it was kind of strange that I always kind of gravitated to the black community.”

Packwood fit in immediately at Morehouse. His charm, movie-star good looks and chiseled physique made him popular among students. He was elected dorm president and to class council during freshmen year – and was a favorite at campus fashion shows.

Life hasn’t always been easy for Packwood. He grew up in a poor area of Kansas City, Missouri, where he says he found himself gravitating to the black community at a young age. Continue reading

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Jeremiah Wright and the lineage of black liberation/deliverance orators

The New Yorker did an interesting (LONG) piece about how Jeremiah Wright’s style of ministry is part of a lineage of black liberation and deliverance. Here’s a lil taste. You should read the whole thing…it’s 6 pages online – http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/04/07
/080407fa_fact_sanneh

As millions of people with no particular interest in African-American religious institutions now know, Trinity is home to the Reverend Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. Since March 13th, when “Good Morning America” broadcast clips of Wright at his most incendiary, he has been an unlikely political celebrity, half of an American odd couple: the fiery, noisy, sixties-influenced spiritual adviser to a Presidential candidate who is supposed to be cool, quiet, and new. Wright’s greatest hits found a home on the Internet and on cable news. There are those seven words he uttered, days after September 11th: “America’s chickens? Are coming home! To roost.” And there’s the way he rewrote a classic Irving Berlin lyric: “Not ‘God bless America.’ ‘God damn America!’ ” But by the time the scandal broke Wright was already gone. He had announced his retirement at the age of sixty-six, preaching his last sermon at Trinity on February 10th, and he kept out of sight while the controversy deepened.

On Good Friday, the church held its annual “Seven Last Words of Christ” service, featuring seven sermons from as many guest preachers. Trinity calls itself “unashamedly black and unapologetically Christian,” but the preacher who was marvelling at all those white people was himself white: Father Michael Pfleger, the leader of the Faith Community of St. Sabina, also on Chicago’s South Side, which proclaims itself to be an “African-American Catholic church.” For one of the historic African-American churches, such a proclamation would be gratuitous, but Pfleger’s church, like Wright’s, belongs to a denomination in which African-Americans are a small minority. The insistence on race is, in part, an assertion of self-determination, a declaration that no church is culturally neutral… Continue reading

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Tired of the same ole black history facts

I’m so, so, so tired of hearing the same ole Black History facts regurgitated over and over again. Martin fought and marched, George Washington Carver invented 400 products with either sweet potatoes or peanuts as the main ingredient. Garrett Morgan invented the gas mask and the traffic signal. Marion Anderson sang, Jesse Owens shamed the Nazis, and Frederick Douglas fought for FREEDOM.

That’s great, I love it. However, I don’t want to be told a whole lot of facts that I already know over and over again. I learned about these black heroes and black achievements in grade school. We colored pictures of MLK and Frederick Douglas. I want to know some different Black History facts.  Here are some facts.

  • The banjo originated in Africa, and until the 1800s was considered an instrument only played by Blacks.
  • Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight champion, patented a wrench in 1922.
  • Buffalo Soldiers is the name given to all Black regiments of the U.S. army starting in 1866. The last Buffalo Soldier, Mark Matthews age 111, died in 2005.
  • “Strange Fruit” the song about lynching made famous by Billie Holiday was originally a poem by Abel Meeropol, a Jewish schoolteacher from the Bronx.
  • The Rolling Stones took their name from the song “Rollin’ Stone” by McKinley Morganfield aka. Muddy Waters.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. was stabbed by an mentally deranged African American Woman in 1958 in Harlem at a book signing in Blumestein’s department store.
  • Philadelphia was known as “the Black Capital of Anti-Slavery” because of the strong abolitionist presence.
  • Wally “Famous Amos” Amos was a talent agent at the William Morris Agency where he worked with the Supremes and Simon & Garfunkle.  He founded his cookie company in 1975 with a recipe from his aunt.

These are just a few facts that aren’t commonly discussed during Black History Month.  I’m sure you can think of a few more.

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