ImanIOU, wrote this piece of wisdom years ago, but it’s been on my mind for the last few days. I thought I would posted it as a means to generate thought and hopefully perspective for whatever the results are come next Tuesday. Happy reading.
ImanioU wrote on Feb 20 2006:
Oh Lord, I know I’m probably going to get flamed because I cannot put this in the words I want to put this in, but here’s to hoping that people understand where I’m coming from.
Be warned that this post is full of rants… You’ve been warned.
I get bothered by the fact that a lot of “black achievements” being simply because the person achieving them are black. Do not get me wrong before anyone starts stuffing words in my mouth, I think it’s important for children to look up to people of all colors for their achievements, but not simply because of their skin color…let me revert to metaphors and analogies since I seem to argue better using these devices:
When you celebrate the first black person in space who did not get there until 20 years after the first white American in space, you are basically saying “We recognize your achievement only because of your skin color because a whole parade of white people accomplished this feat before you did.” It is like praising the slower child for doing something that the other kids his age had already accomplish long before him. I feel it only adds to our sense of inferiority that we should applaud ourselves for finally accomplishing what white people have already done. It’s like treating someone special because you know they couldn’t do it like the “normal” people could. George Washington Carver did many amazing things and was a prolific inventor. He is celebrated not because he was black, but because he was an incredibly intelligent and capable human being. That to me is someone that should be a hero to a young black child. He’s not considered an achiever for following in the footsteps of whites, but because he was a leader.
Richard Pryor was a great comedian. And he was black. But he was not a great black comedian (as opposed to a great comedian who was white), he was a great comedian. Full stop.
I think what I am saying (but I could be wrong ) is that when you quantify a person’s achievements by their skin color, you also say that the reason why we should be celebrating them is because of the their skin color, rather than because of their achievement. No one calls Bob Hope “a great white comedian” or Buzz Aldrin “a white pioneer in space”. Dr. Mae C. Jemison should be celebrated, not because she was the first black woman, or even a woman, in space, but because she’s an astronaut and that in itself is an achievement. Martin Luther King was a great leader of the civil rights movement. Not because he was black, but because he was a great leader.
I think Black History Month is important to remind all of us of the great things black people have done and contributed to the world and to build confidence in our youth that they too can achieve greatness since there do not seem to be a lot of positive role models out there in their lives for them to look up to. But let’s celebrate the people who have made these contributions rather than just their skin color.[/quote]
Thanks Imaniou :beatnik: