Apr. 13th, 2016

lonespark: Cassidy from "Far Beyond the Stars" (Cassidy Yates)
My cousin (technically my cousin's wife but she is awesome and the kids are adorable and there are different cultural conventions and anyway I claim her NO TAKEBACKS!) posted on FB about not having White History Month. I guess it was a link to a Kat Blaque video I have yet to watch, but anyway, it reminded me of these ideas. (This is really incomplete but I have to file taxes and deal with my daughter's science fair. Hope to get back to this today or tomorrow...)

My proposal is as follows:

December has Kwanzaa, so that can be like, Intro to African Heritage Month, with an emphasis on Swahili and East African history and culture.*

(There was something for January, too, but I don't remember what. Is it Women's History Month? Or is that March? Or maybe just spread what I'm saying for December and February out. There's more than enough!)

Then February is Black (U.S.) American History Month, and because it was made then for Frederick Douglass's birthday, there should maybe be something of an emphasis on the diaspora related to the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, slavery in colonial times and thru US history, abolitionion movements, U.S. Civil War and Reconstruction. This would cover the histories of different communities...

A lot (most, I think) Black Americans are of West-African heritage, so there could be emphasis on the histories of West African peoples and civilizations, as well as the cultures formed in N., S., and Central America and the Caribbean by people with that heritage.

Resistance figures importantly here. Students tend to ask, "Why didn't the slaves fight back?" And the answer is always that they did. But those rebellions were brutally suppressed, and their histories are constantly erased, minimized, or occasionally presented in a whitewashed, token fashion, usually fitted out with White Saviors. Sucessful rebellions are erased, misrepresented, denied and defamed most of all, and colonialism is brutal and ongoing. (Just. Fucking. Look. At. Haiti!)

Some African leaders supported the slave trade. Others fought against it. Some supported in the beginning then changed their minds. Different ethnic groups and conflicts among them are relevant.

European contact, trade, attempts at conversion, the development of capitalism, racism, and chattel slavery, as well as the Doctrine of Discovery, the systems of racial oppression that would eventually support the white supremacist slave societies of the Americas under European and later White European-American colonization... These are all important concepts to explore in detail... (I am kind of feeling like there might not be enough months in the whole year for this...)

*(This might also be where to explore additional stuff related to Islam, Arab and other Middle Eastern peoples, East African and Middle Eastern slave trade, and maybe history dealing with North Africa & the Mediterranean, contact with Rome as a city-state and an empire and possibly Hellenistic societies, too? Or not. Obvs. a lot of that belongs in the various Whiteness and European Heritage Month(s)...)


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