Monthly Archives: February 2014

The cost of racism

Resist racism

Another way that racism harms white people is by denying them the ability to develop their critical thinking. This is due in part to the constant, regular reinforcement that white is right. White people are raised in an environment in which they are regularly assured of their superiority. Their experts are white, like them. And they often live in segregation, thus denying them the opportunity to be exposed to other viewpoints.

What happens in a culture of white supremacy? White people assume that they are the experts. Even in the absence of any history, education or knowledge.

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Why Black History is Important for Young People

Re-blogged frm Black History Studies

“Education for all British teenagers focuses on an intellectual heritage that begins with the Greco-Roman tradition, on one hand, and the Judaeo-Christian tradition on the other. In addition, mainstream education includes references to the contributions of the Hindus, Buddhists, Arabs and the Chinese to certain aspects of human culture.

 But what about the contributions of Africans and African descended people? Where is any of this reflected in mainstream education?

 For most Black teenagers, the experience in the classroom and lecture hall is one of being present and being excluded at the same time. Nearly all information taught in schools and colleges ignore the black teenager’s cultural heritage. Some old school educationalists even claim that black teenagers (and black people in general) have no cultural heritage whatsoever!

Consequently, the experience in the classroom and the lecture hall, as far as black teenagers are concerned, is one of being indoctrinated with somebody else’s culture. For black teenagers, this poses a difficult question: Should you forget your cultural heritage and fully embrace another heritage or should you resist the indoctrination?

This is a difficult choice that black teenagers have to make. Some will embrace the European heritage and will be rewarded with GCSE and A-level success. The rebellious teenagers will resist for as long as they can. Many will leave the education system with little or nothing to show for it.

 Black History is a subject that can interest black (and non-black) teenagers. It is a subject that enables black teenagers to see and learn about people that are just like themselves. Black history in the broadest sense includes the contributions of black people to development of history and civilisation. It includes the contributions of black people to the development of the arts, technology and the sciences, industry and world trade, and religion and philosophy.

Even if we restricted the scope of black history to the British Isles, black people here have a history stretching well beyond the Empire SS Windrush in 1948. For example, one mainstream TV documentary shown over the last 12 months featured the rediscovery of the burial of an eleventh century African male. Another documentary featured the rediscovery of a burial of an elite fourth century African female in York. Yet another documentary featured a Roman emperor, of North African stock, who led troops in battles against the early people of Scotland, and who himself died in York.

 Even if we restricted our focus from 18th century to pre 1948 London, there are various black personalities and organisations important in political history such as Oludah Equiano, William Cuffay, and Henry Sylvester Williams and the Pan African Movement. In Literature…”;  Read full article on Author’s site

 

Making Black History Month Relevant

With Black History Month (BHM) rapidly approaching, I want to take this opportunity to address: 1.) The purpose and background of BHM  (2. The limited ways in which we typically use this month  3.) How to make BHM more relevant and empowering

Purpose/Background

Carter Godwin Woodson, founder of Black History Month, scholar, author and institution-builder

What we now refer to as Black History Month began as “Negro History Week.” Dr. Carter G. Woodson, a Harvard University graduate and history professor, began this commemoration in 1926. He was frustrated by the absence of scholarship and discussion about Black people’s contributions to America and the world. He hoped that NHW would fill this void.

A common belief among Black people is that whites created Black History Month in February because it is the “shortest and coldest month of the year.” Actually, Woodson  designated the second week of February to honor the birthdays of President Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, two people he believed were great emancipators of Black people. The first recorded celebration of Black History Month was in February of 1970 by Black students at Kent State University. By 1976, America’s Bicentennial, the government officially “recognized” this change from Negro History Week to Black History Month, however Black people began this tradition before…”;  Read more here

Re-blogged from:  MyTrueSense.org

Article Author:  Agyei Tyehimba

is a former NYC public schoolteacher, co-founder of KAPPA Middle School 215 in the Bronx, NY, and co-author of the Essence Bestselling book, Game Over: The Rise and Transformation of a Harlem Hustler, published in 2007 by Simon & Schuster. Agyei has appeared on C-SpanNY1 News, and most recently on the A&E documentary, The Mayor of Harlem: Alberto ‘Alpo’ Martinez.” Mr. Tyehimba is a professional consultant and public speaker providing political advice and direction for Black college student organizations, community activist groups, and nonprofit organizations. If you are interested in bringing Agyei to speak or provide consultation for your organization, please contact him at truself143@gmail.com.

 

28 Common Racist Attitudes And Behaviors

Re-blogged from:  DemocraticUnderground

“Below is a list of 28 common racist attitudes and behaviors that indicate a detour or wrong turn into white guilt, denial or defensiveness. Each is followed by a statement that is a reality check and consequence for harboring such attitudes.

1. I’m Colorblind.

“People are just people; I don’t see color; we’re all just human.” Or “I don’t think of you as Chinese.” Or “We all bleed red when we’re cut.” Or “Character, not color, is what counts with me.”

REALITY CHECK + CONSEQUENCE:

Statements like these assume that people of color are just like you, white; that they have the same dreams, standards, problems, and peeves that you do. “Colorblindness” negates the cultural values, norms, expectations and life experiences of people of color. Even if an individual white person could ignore a person’s color, society does not. By saying we are not different, that you don’t see the color, you are also saying you don’t see your whiteness. This denies the people of colors’ experience of racism and your experience of privilege.

“I’m colorblind” can also be a defense when afraid to discuss racism, especially if one assumes all conversation about race or color is racist. Speaking of another person’s color or culture is not necessarily racist or offensive. As my friend Rudy says,
I don’t mind that you notice that I’m black.” Color consciousness does not equal racism…”;  Mr Scorpio 

And more:

Blame the Victim.:  “We have advertised everywhere, there just aren’t any qualified people of color  for this job.” Or …Read more  here

Due Process.:  “Lady Justice is color blind.” White parents who tell their children, “The police are here to protect you. If they ever stop you, just be polite and tell the truth.” Then when a black teen is beaten or killed by police, those same parents say, “He must have been doing something wrong, to provoke that kind of police response.”

The Innocent by Association.: “I’m not racist, because… I have Vietnamese friends, or my lover is black or I marched with Dr. King.”

The Penitent.: “I am so sorry for the way whites have treated your people.” Or “I am sorry for the terrible things that white man just said to you.”

BWAME.: “But What About Me. Look how I’ve been hurt, oppressed, exploited…?

Silence.:  We stay silent.

Read the original article here

Its Time to get UNPLUGGED

Re-blogged from MyTrueSense.org

...It doesn’t matter if you wear a cross, star of David, Ankh, Eye of Heru, or medallion of Africa. Whether you wear a tailored suit, traditional African clothing or Timberland boots with jeans and a hoodie. Whether your name is European or African. Whether you worship In a church, mosque, or temple.

Whether you follow Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad, Yahweh, Jehovah, Shiva or Shango. Whether you meditate, pray, chant, or visualize.Whether you are a vegan or carnivore.

You can burn incense, scented candles, get massages or bathe in exotic bath salts. Whether you jog, do yoga, lift weights, bike, hike, or swim. Whether you ski, surf, skate, or skateboard.

You might be straight gay, bisexual, transgender or transsexual. Male, female or androgynous. Perhaps you’re socialist, nationalist, feminist, integrationist, or pan African.  Conservative, liberal or radical. Middle class, working class or homeless. Perhaps you believe in conspiracies, think Tupac and Bruce Lee faked their deaths, believe you were abducted by aliens, were reincarnated, can communicate with animals and the deceased or can move objects without physically touching them…….

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Our religion, sexuality, political ideology, faith system, style………are personal decisions that govern our person spheres. They are all bubbles that we live in, per se.

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But no matter what bubble of belief or behavior we choose to reside in, a minority of people in this world ( helped along by our apathy, ignorance and cooperation) own the wealth, make and enforce the laws, declare wars, define “truth,” beauty, love, what’s legitimate, what you should buy, think, wear, eat, believe and obey. If you’re cool with this scenario, stay in your little bubble of personal interest and may the force be with you. But if you truly want to change things,,we will need to have compassionate hearts, flexible minds, and proactive spirits. We will need to push past rigid dogma, controlling and divisive mythologies, and cult-like thinking.

The revolution has already begun. Your first steps are to THINK FOR YOURSELF, SEEK TRUTH, and GET UNPLUGGED from ideas, people, or philosophies that deceive, manipulate and cause disharmony, destruction and confusion… Open …”;  Agyei Tyehimba

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Agyei Tyehimba is a former NYC public schoolteacher, co-founder of KAPPA Middle School 215 in the Bronx, NY, and co-author of the Essence Bestselling book, Game Over: The Rise and Transformation of a Harlem Hustler, published in 2007 by Simon & Schuster. Agyei has appeared on C-SpanNY1 News, and most recently on the A&E documentary, The Mayor of Harlem: Alberto ‘Alpo’ Martinez.” Mr. Tyehimba is a professional consultant and public speaker providing political advice and direction for Black college student organizations, community activist groups, and nonprofit organizations. If you are interested in bringing Agyei to speak or provide consultation for your organization, please contact him at truself143@gmail.com.