- Faith & Family
Arizona State Representative Richard Miranda proposed a Latino American holiday. And in an uncanny response, his state colleague, Republican Representative Cecil Ash, suggested that whites should to be given a holiday to celebrate their accomplishments and contributions in America. This proposal confirms that both men are apparently oblivious to the evolution of Black History Month. Dr. Carter G. Woodson created Negro History Week in 1926 in order to educate and recognize the contributions of Blacks in America — it began out of necessity not as a political move. The fact that two state representatives would propose such a holiday for Latino and white Americans is insensitive and could be perceived as mockery. Their proposals taking place during Black History Month confirms that they both would benefit from a lesson in Black history — a time
of learning, growing and knowing.
The first case of identity theft began during the Atlantic Slave Trade Mission when millions of Africans were captured, sold and smuggled from their homeland. Most slaves ended up either in North America, Portugal or the Caribbean where they were forced to abandon their identities and assume the identity of their slave masters. Their names were replaced with those of their slave masters. As slaves they were conditioned to live, act and think with a slave mentality. Blacks continue to define their own identity in America.
For years Blacks were denied an education by law. However, nothing could stop their ingenuity and creativity. Blacks acquired their knowledge and skills through assimilation and adaptation. The U.S. blood bank (Charles R. Drew) and the three-way traffic signal (Garrett A. Morgan) are just two of the immeasurable contributions by Blacks. We were also instrumental in the construction of America’s railroads, bridges, highways and even the White House. In spite of our many contributions, U.S. history books and even some public schools fail to give Blacks credit for their work. In fact the main strategy of the current Republican presidential candidates is to marginalize one of this country’s brightest Blacks, President Barack Obama, by identifying him as the food stamp president and refusing to acknowledge his accomplishments.
Other races have attempted to equate their inequalities with those of Blacks, but ours was a struggle unlike any others. Latinos and white Americans were not excluded from U.S. history. The progression of Blacks in America continues to be a struggle and must be revered. As the saying goes, “we may not be where we should be, but we are not where we used to be.” We must continue to pay tribute and honor America’s true unsung heroes.
Queen Brown is a freelance writer, a motivational speaker and a trained crime victim’s advocate.
By Queen Brown