For the last six weeks prior to Thanksgiving, PBS had devoted one hour per Tuesday night of 500 years of African American history. And yes, the term, “African American” still lingers for those who “know everything.”
Professor Henry Louis Gates presented the six week special in which highlighted the most points in the history, and also here is something everyone should know: there were points in the history that weren’t mentioned! Think back in school or college when you were taught African-American History, how many of the topics were picked up that weren’t in your syllabus? Or in this case, your Midterms, Final Exams, the quizzes, or in discussion! I think Henry Louis Gates not on revealed the things we know, but also had uncovered the “hidden truths” that should have been part of our memory banks in the on going 500 years of African American History! Whether it was the firsts to elect, or the firsts to invent, or the firsts to gain while making sacrificial risks with them being black.
One of the best highlights that I drew from, was the from final part of the series when it was focused on after the Assassination of Martin Luther King. Plus also the initiation of Black Power, Soul Train, Advertising of black products of Afro Sheen, and yes the 2008 Election of Barack Obama. At the end of the series, there was a question that was lingered after the Election, is America in a Post-Racial Society? With all the hoopla about the racism being dead, I say it’s far from dead. If the country is supposed to be in a post-racial society, why is so many companies, organizations, those who run credit checks, those who refuse to hire WELL QUALIFIED blacks in terms of Careers? No matter if you are in a Segregated city (i.e. Milwaukee) or any other city or state that has this cycle. Remember in earlier part of the series, it was noted that racism is in America’s DNA. It’s been there in the beginning and hasn’t stopped since. Even in my almost soon to be 37 years of life, have I been profiled? Yes. Have I been looked like I want to hurt folks or to have this notion of putting fear in other ethnics? Yes. Have I been discriminated in trying to look for work? You bet your Christmas Bonus. And I have not gotten over the feeling nor the story. And folks say we should get over it? Yeah, when the last legs comes. In regarding the President, every thing he tried to proposed, those in REPUBLICAN and some Democrats, blocked. Why is this? Many of us already know. And his shade of color is proof of those who oppose him. Even the fans of the opposition of Obama embraced this. And get this, many hate groups were rising up!
I said it again, and again: Post Racial? Really?!!!!
Another Highlight: Rise. This the part in which the Original March on Washington was mentioned. And of course, the spark in which Rosa Parks made her presence known NOT to give up her seat in 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama. Now while we were in church this past Sunday, the GOP unveiled a Twitter message, per say that Rosa Parks stopped or put an end to Racism when she refused to give up her seat at the time. Personally, the part of Rosa Parks putting racism to sleep is as false as calling Obama a socialist. If they believe that racism is dead, they need to look in the mirror. Without question! Maybe the GOP needs that come to Jesus meeting. No literally, a real “Come to Jesus Meeting.”
Additional Highlights from The Black Atlantic in which the slaves were captured, ripped from their homes, having to be branded, and many other dehumanizing effects that were harming at that time. Even those who died on the ships, were thrown off along the way. Majority of the slaves as we know were in Charleston, South Carolina and Jamestown, Virginia. For the black slaves that were here in America, factories, buildings were built in which many have said that America was built on the backs of black folks. Even it concerns Washington D.C. Remember when back in January when Obama was re-elected when the U.S. Capitol was mentioned was built by blacks? Even the Statue of Freedom on top of the dome was made by a black slave? Go back and read it. Even the Haitians had to overthrow their slavemasters at that time to gain freedom. What about America? It took 100 years for the freedoms to commence. 100 years. And we often hear about the 4th of July and hearing the slaves talk about Liberty and Freedom. But…….during that time, that was not given to blacks. But we know that it also took those 100 years also to get more ideas and more fight for freedom to engage. Even in 2013.
I really have to say, that this series of The African Americans that Professor Gates presented was VERY WELL presented. I hope also that every single African-American in the house holds had the chance to view it. And Americans alike. Partially, many say that Black History is American History. BUT…..in a global aspect in terms of Africa, the Americas, Caribbean, Haiti and the ships that transported the slaves, this is more of a World History than American History. And the lessons are on going. In the 500 years that blacks have made strides thus far, we still have a long way to go. So the utopia, ain’t built yet!
- A Journey Through 500 Years of African-American History (theroot.com)
- Many Rivers to Cross: From Black Power to the Black President (theroot.com)
- Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Talks 12 Years a Slave and The African Americans (entertainment.time.com)
- Learning from the RNC’s Clumsy Tweet About Rosa Parks Ending Racism (usnews.com)
- What Skip Gates Said To Make Colin Powell Shed Tears (wolbbaltimore.com)
- RNC Backtracks on Tweet That Rosa Parks Ended Racism (bet.com)