Thoughts on Black History Month...

Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Halle Berry and Tony Dungy, among others are helping to keep our generation relevant when it comes to history but as a whole, exactly what history is our generation leaving? The Soup and Vh1 decided to remind us.

This was for comedic purposes, but its real.

So what are your thoughts on Black History Month?

In a 60 minutes interview Morgan Freeman said "Black History Month is ridiculous. You're going to relegate my history to a month? I don't want a black history month. Black history is American History."

Is Black History Month necessary?

Was it even made for us or was it built to force white people to recognize all the contributions black people have made to this country?

What do you love/hate about black history month?

Now let Smokey Robinson tell it

He broke it down so that it can forever and consistently be broke!

13 comments

Kayos February 2, 2009 at 3:08 PM

You know Eb, I agree with Morgan Freeman. This nation is so engrossed with trying to compensate for the past by giving us a month of reflection. Yeah good month. It's the shortest month of the year even with the leap going on. Bogus. We are American History. Everything needed to know about blacks happened right here in America. So they can either accept it or live in denial. I do agree they are making huge steps with the election of our first president. Not enough.

As for Smokey...I was hip to his poem months ago and I love it. Great musician showing his pride as a black man and using another venue to reach blacks. I applaud him.

Lady C. February 2, 2009 at 3:58 PM

What I hate about Black History Month is that we see the same things over and over. The same movies, the same tributes, the same acknowledgements. It has become a way to limit African American history. What's worse is that having a celebration has become nearly non-existent in schools. I remember having plays, speeches, field trips, projects, but I'm not seeing that as much anymore. It should be a time for everyone to reflect and use our creativity to express where we've come from.

BTW, I could sit here and listen to your playlist all day!

Chris February 2, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Bob Dylan once called Smokey "America's Greatest Living Poet," and that piece shows why. As far as Morgan Freeman's comments, I do see and understand his position, but we still need to have Black History month in the light of some of the ignorance other folks show towards blacks on a regular basis.

CC February 2, 2009 at 6:28 PM

At some point, Black history month needs to be ended because our history will be included fully in school. In college, at least most colleges, there are already courses that focus on different minority histories. But once schools start really in corporating us past the regulars (MLK, Malcom, Rosa) and giving a full picture like they do for white history then the month can end. Not just for black history but for Asian history, Hispanic history and Native American history months. Thier history is ours too. We're all americans and no one group, no matter how many of them there are should be relegated to the front.

clnmike February 2, 2009 at 6:55 PM

I agree with Lady C the repetivness of BHM is annoying I would like to learn something new.

As far as what Morgan said, I would agree if I thought I could trust the society to represent Black American History on it's own.

They still dont teach a healthy portion of it in school so why would we assume they would do it in general?

You got kids who cant tell you jack outside of MLK or Malcolm X.

So if you expect them to know black women's contribution to history you can really forget about it.

And than there is the ever growing mulit culturalism of the country, there going to want their time to.

Thats why BHM is needed.

She W0rd Hustlez February 2, 2009 at 7:54 PM

I have to agree with Mr. Freeman. It is ridiculous that they dwindle all of our accomplishments and whatnot down to one month. The SHORTEST month at that.

Super Dave Van Buren February 3, 2009 at 8:56 AM

I forgot it was black history month. That Smokey poem was right on though.

MBB Founder and Editor Denene Millner February 3, 2009 at 9:31 AM

RE: Smokey: Aw, hell--that was incredible. Thanks for sharing it.

I wrote yesterday at MyBrownBaby about how annoying Black History Month is. It's become quite the tool for companies to pat themselves on the back for being "diverse" and sell us stuff. But really, isn't black history American history? More than just some marketing tool for companies that don't pay us ANY kind of mind the rest of the 11 months of the year? MLK is AMERICAN history. Toni Morrison is AMERICAN history. Miles Davis? AMERICAN history. You mean to tell me that from here on out, the only time we'll talk about Barack Obama is February? Does that make ANY kind of sense?

Nope.

Not a lick.

Miss Mika February 3, 2009 at 11:06 AM

While I understand Mr. Freemans position about Black History Month, I wouldn't say do away with it. So many have said it... Black History is American History. It truly is. What our ancestors went through, the inventions we've created that have all helped to make this country what it is today. I could remember in elementry school, having assemblies and plays celebrating African American inventors and leaders. But I also went to a prodominately black school in a prodominately black area. Once I got to middle school and high school, African American history and our contributions to this country were very rarely outlined in my text books, unless it pertained to Martin Luther King or Rosa Parks.

I am not saying that only during the month of Feburary should we take pride in our accomplishments as a people, but honestly speaking I have learned more about our culture and struggles during this month becuase of the parades and various forms of celebration, than I ever learned in all my years of middle school and high school.

Thoughts of a Southern gal February 3, 2009 at 11:17 AM

Smokey said that!

I'm tired of hearing only about MLK and Rosa Parks every year. We learned about them in kindergarten. This nation still doesn't recognize all the contributions of black people. Did you know a black man invented the ice cream scoop? Or the street sweeper?

labellanoire February 3, 2009 at 11:38 AM

I think the meaning and relevance of BHM is being diluted. How many times can you watch "Eyes on the Prize"? Yes, it's riveting and poignant, but when that's basically all there is to offer for BHM, it gets tired.

We learn about the same people and the same events over and over again. What about taking our history out of the context of slavery and the civil rights movement? While both of those are incredibly important, our history is much more than the sum of those times in history. What about applying our history to the larger canvas of American--and world--history?

ToshaRenelle February 3, 2009 at 3:44 PM

"Is Black History Month necessary?"
- Yes. It's necessary to raise awareness, to educate, to learn and to keep it new and fresh. If groups were hated

"Was it even made for us or was it built to force white people to recognize all the contributions black people have made to this country?"
-Whatever the reason was for starting it, it does force EVERYONE, not just white people to recognize all of the contributions blacks have made to this country...and I love it.

What I love about Black History Month is the FOCUS it gives. Yeah, Black History should be EVERYDAY, but for 28 days, we have it be ALL ABOUT US, ALL THE TIME and there's nothing wrong with that. I love finding out new things I may not have known. I like watching newcomers like the First Family make their historical mark. Black History is and the month given to honor it is necessary and purposeful in my opinion...and I'm gonna always celebrate it because that's all the racist people want is for us to be quiet!

What I hate about Black History month is how short it is.

The Smokey Clip was amazing and the VH1/Soup Clip was degrading and disrespectful. Nevermind they tried to clean it up by talking about white people, too. Timing is everything, and it was inappropriate to make a play on Black History Month, with that tacky clip!

glennishamorgan February 3, 2009 at 10:39 PM

I personally am not all that big on Black History month because I feel like I am Black History and I live and breath Black everyday. I attended an African centered elementary school where I learned a lot of about Black leaders as well as got the wonderful opportunity to meet a few like Rosa Parks, Cecil Fielder, Bill Cosby, and a few others. At one point African studies was my minor in college. My mother always taught me about my history so yea I think I'm well educated on myself and my people. Not saying that I it all but, I don't need the govn't to say ok here's a month it's ok to learn about yourself now. Black history needs to be a part of the curriculum in schools because it IS a part of American history point blank....

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