Meaning Of Black History

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It was the Blood of the ancestors that shaped the Civil Rights Movement, making it possible to demand respect and basic fundamental Human Rights – things we so take for granted today. The ancestors handed down the framework to ‘freedom;’ and here in the twenty-first century we cannot even get our vote to be counted, and continue to blame the “White man� for most of the problems. A a small portion of African Peoples find a need to hate and kill each other.

Until we learn the ‘True-story’ of “Black Historyâ€? ourselves – African American children, along with the rest of the world, will forever be kept in the dark. 

Last year while standing on line in the Postal Service store a little girl and her mother began to read the names from picture posters of famous African American People placed on the windows.
 
I began to take notice of George Washington Carver, Harriet Tubman, Thurgood Marshall, Mary McLeod Bethune, Katherine Dunham, Maya Angelou, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Marian Anderson, Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, Patricia Roberts Harris, Jesse Jackson, Shirley Chisholm, Martin Luther King Jr., Ralph Bunche, Langston Hughes, Rosa Parks and Daniel Hale Williams are just some of the posters on display.

The list of names could go on to fill this column with names such as Dr. John Henrik Clarke and many, many more.  Learning about the ancestors and the groundwork they left in place gives one a sense of foundation, pride, wholeness, roots, and a power to identify with.  And it’s no wonder why some don’t want this information to be known.  “Next person on line step down please,â€? states Cheryl White, a Window Clerk, who has worked for the United States Postal Service (USPS) for 31 years.  I later learn it was White who was responsible for putting up the Black History Month display.

For a decade, White has been assigned to the Hollis station postal store located at Jamaica Avenue near 197th Street, where she continues to put up decorations for most of the holidays.  “She really gets into it and uses her own money for the posters,â€? states the Hollis Station office manager.

It was somewhat ironic when a customer asked about a package he was expecting from South Africa.  “How is it coming, by air or boat? Because it takes about 60-days to get here if it’s coming by boat,â€? notes White. This exchange made me think about the Atlantic Slave Trade, as I awaited my turn in line. The Passage used to bring ancestors to America after they were stolen from the shores of Africa and brought here by boat.  So if it takes 60 days today, the journeys back then took much longer, and thousands of African Peoples were killed or died along the way.

It will take years learning about an indigenous race and the hidden truth of African Kings and Queens – while the public school system closes its doors for a whole week in February in recognition of two former Presidents.  This leaves approximately 15 days for any programming for Black History Month.
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African slaves who built this country were never given any Reparations for their labor. This is the bounced check Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. talked about in his, “I Have a Dream,â€? speech. President after President occupy the White House and fail to apologize for this scourge in time or recognize this ugly scar on America. It was the Blood of the ancestors that shaped the Civil Rights Movement, making it possible to demand respect and basic fundamental Human Rights – things we so take for granted today. 

The ancestors handed down the framework to ‘freedom;’ and here in the twenty-first century we cannot even get our vote to be counted, and continue to blame the “White manâ€? for most of the problems. A a small portion of African Peoples find a need to hate and kill each other. The one percent -- “havesâ€? -- who control the wealth, land, and labor are making sure the ninety-nine percent (the “have-notsâ€?) remain dumb.  But, without “African History,â€? there would be no American History; yet the books our children are learning from today still omit the ‘True-story.’

There’s a road map that predates Dr. King’s speech by hundreds of years; and these are the years we must learn about and teach our children, as well as those who think they can disrespect us because of the color of our skin.  The Black Holocaust took the lives of millions, yet it is not adequately spoken about or taught in our schools or universities.

We can and must learn to know ourselves through knowledge and consciousness of being free.  “Freedom,â€? is more than just a word, it’s a way of life that forces us to examine the policies of these financial, political, legal and educational systems we find ourselves locked out of. Here we are in the twenty-first century – why hasn’t America elected an African American president?  We can no longer depend on the schools to educate the people who want to learn and know about a hidden history (or lie) – the real African American ‘History,’ or should I say, the True-story, must be taught to all, not just African Americans.

We give thanks to people like Cheryl White, who also makes sure there are Black Heritage stamps on hand.  “We have Marian Anderson, Paul Robeson and Sickle Cell stamps on sale,â€? she states. I’d personally like to see Malcolm X stamp reprinted, “By any means necessary.â€?

Winkfield’s regular investigative news column appears every week in The Black Star News.  Contact him for consideration regarding covering your story.  Send comments:  In Care Of: ON THE SPOT, Post Office Box 230149, Queens County 11423 or via Blackstarnew2@aol.coml or call 917-248-179.   We can protect whistleblowers by honoring their privacy with confidentiality. For more stories read the newsstand edition of the newspaper: click on "subscribe" on the home page or call 212-481-7745

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