Most of the Black History that I have learned has been about courageous African Americans breaking color lines. Rosa Parks defied unjust societal norms; The “Little Rock Nine” went to public school in the face rabid racism; and Jackie Robinson was the first African American to play in an all White baseball league. However, is the achievement of reaching the standard of Caucasian American normalcy actually an accomplishment? Does any other ethnicity base their achievement on the standard of another ethnic group?
I liken the Civil Rights movement to a kindergarten graduation. The graduation is a joyous and important moment for the child and the parent but the event is far from news worthy. African Americans fought to get their God-given rights. Is the extent of history of Africans in America the plot of the film “Braveheart?”
How interested would you be if I told you about a Chinese “Jackie Robinson” in 450 B.C. who was able to play soccer with another group of Chinese people whom wouldn’t let him play previously? Would you consider that an historic event? Be honest.
Should the “bar” of what Black people consider an achievement be set much higher than integration or being the first African American do something that a White American has already done?
As slaves, the descendants of Africa were separate and unequal. History teaches us that there was a push toward equality with the sacrifice of separation. The integration of Blacks into White society allowed those descendants to be conquered officially and without an ensuing revolution.
When a group of people is conquered another group of people, the conquered group adapts the conquerors’ language, customs, culture, and religion. Sound familiar? As a separate group, Africans in America were still united by a common heritage.
Malcolm X changed his name because the last name Little did not represent him or his family, it represented the people who enslaved his family. He continued by saying, “if you saw a Chinese person named James Murphy, you would think he is out of his mind because the name Murphy represents an Irish man.” Do you feel a connection with your heritage?
Will Black History be relevant in a thousand years or will the hundreds of years of Black Americans struggling to be “equal” to White Americans be a short paragraph in the overall history of America? Has American society brainwashed African Americans to aim low and be proud?