|Posted by sjaugu on February 19, 2015 at 5:45 PM|
Negro History Week was initiated by Dr. Carter G. Woodson in 1926. His goal was enlightening the descendants of slavery to their history that had been neglected, resulting in him creating a Negro History Week in February 1926. At first, he was met with a lukewarm response. Dr. Carter worked diligently for over twenty years promoting his dream. His brain child has been enhanced into a Black History Month (1976) in the United States, and was followed by Great Britain (1987) although it is celebrated in October, along with Canada, who, joined in 1995. Notably, countries in Europe, South America, and Africa have also acknowledged Dr. Carter's life-long dedication.
He was given credit for being the father of Black History Month (B. H. M.) and that is justified. Notably, he died in 1950 (December 19, 1875 – April 3, 1950) not having any knowledge of the present-day celebrations in his honor. Surely Dr. Carter would approve acknowledgement of his life-long dedicated work. Suffice to say, his Negro History Week has been eternalized as a concept.
Now it is time to extend his concept even further. In his era, he could only use the word Negro. After his death, the concept transformed from a week into a month together with using black. Black became beautiful in the 60s and slowly replaced Negro. In 2015, we can enhance Dr. Carter's concept even further by embracing African to define descendants of slavery as well as the victims of colonialism. The crowning adulation would include history from the beginning of civilizations until the present-day. The thoughts of these enhancements surely were impossible during Dr. Carter era in 1926.
To be more effective the established celebrations and festivities should be continued. At the same time, his concepts can be presented any time during the year putting it on par with all other cultures' history. Let us pause and give adulation and homage to Dr. Carter G. Woodson founder of Negro History Week in 1926, and also the African-British history month along with Canada's celebrations, as well as paying tribute to countless activists, organizations and governmental agencies that observe this tradition annually. African communities everywhere owe them all a debt of gratitude.
Most importantly, existing annual celebrations, and traditions, still will be recognized, and continued as usual but unified into a global African historical arena. Significantly, the concept would present ancient, and medieval history right up to the present-day. Mindfully, we must give homage to our ancestors, and for the sake of our unity, the tragedies of slavery and colonialism should be shared among all the communities. Most importantly, 365-day concepts will be on par with other culture's history. After all, they do not celebrate their history in one month, and neither should the Africans.
Factually, it would be advantageous for victims of slavery and colonialism to embrace their ethnicity by accepting African as an unifying cultural definition. Notably, The Diaspora victims were identified as Africans before slavery and colonialism. Besides, the history of Africa has been written by many individuals of different races, economic, and religious organizations but from their own political perspectives. Today, there isn't a shared history among, Africans dispersed around the world that solely is taken from the perspectives of Africans, whether they are at home, in Africa, or elsewhere in the universe. A.H.M. 365-day concepts would be the platform where history will be disseminated from their view point, to counter the negative mental conditioning that has been systematically institutionalized during slavery and colonialism. In order for these concepts to be effective, it must be internalized daily, and monthly, and all year round encompassing history before and after the Diaspora.
For further enlightenment history has to be presented BEFORE Arab, and European conquest. It is important all communities should learn and understand their history from their own perspective, beginning at the origin of mankind, together with ancient, medieval, and contemporary histories along with slavery and colonialism. It is essential; the youth, teenagers and adults along with the senior citizens should know how the PAST has affected their present-day living environment.
First on the agenda is to address allegations that Africans have no history or made any contributions to humanity. Interesting enough, mankind had its beginning in the Rift Valley in East Africa, which produced the oldest human fossils Dinkenesh (known throughout the western world as Lucy), and also, a generation of archeological findings done by the Leakey family. Notably, these discoveries were in the Great Rift Valley in Ethiopia and Kenya. Furthermore, Africa is the home of over 300 kingdoms, civilizations and empires, some lasting millenniums and others only a few centuries. Mindfully, there is a plethora of African kingdoms and civilizations to choose for the concepts.
Among them are Nubia, in the north, Ethiopia and the Kilwa city states on the east coast, along with Moutapa in the south together with West African medieval kingdoms among them Ghana, Mali, Kanem, Songhay, Kanem-Bonu, Ashanti, Yoruba, Congo, and so forth.
Another element of the Diaspora, is Africans who migrated from conflict seeking a better way of life. Among many brothers and sisters on the continent and others living abroad, their situations are strikingly similar. The Diaspora around the world has caused its victims to suffer through the same economic, social and political oppression. These displaced victims will learn much from an African History Month along with its concepts. It will give them an understanding of the past, improve their socioeconomic endeavors that will increase exchanges of information between each other. The Diaspora residual effect is the lack of education, unemployment, denial of civil liberties, disproportional shares of police brutality and proportionately more occupants in the penal systems; and also, relegated to second-class citizenship with no hope of being integrated within the mainstream of the respective societies. These conditions are manifested and institutionalized by the slave and master mind set.
In the contemporary world, the victims of the Diaspora have been simulated into foreign cultures, different ideologies and assume new identities. This affects the whole dynamics of Africa, its people and the victims of the Diaspora. Although, cultures have been altered or sometimes lost. Most importantly, the continual presentations of A.H.M. along with its concepts would be a unifying catalyst without any boundaries. This philosophy will allow communities to learn their history in accordance with their circumstances. Furthermore, it should be institutionalized and incorporated into our daily activities.
Appropriately, concepts should be every day, week, and month during the year. It's sufficing to say, there should not be any boundaries nor time constraints. This will, allow Africa's historical assets to be shared among its people worldwide. More importantly, these endeavors are more feasible than ever because of modern technology of the Internet, that host international media, blogs and other means of positive exchanges.
Our youth as well as adults within the African communities will benefit by learning a variety of meaningful events about their culture. These events will be nurtured and planted for prospective generations to harvest. Those future generations would not have to deal with silly allegations that Africans have no history or participated in the development of mankind. Mindful, a concept is never ending, and this enhancement would be the ultimate compliment for Dr. Carter G. Woodson Negro History Week.
The Mis-Education of the Negro Carter G. Woodson
The Journal of Negro History Vol 1 Carter G. Woodson and various
The Life of Carter G. Woodson. Robert F. Duncan
Slavery in the Arab World Murray Gordon
Destruction of Black Civilizations Chancellor Williams
Capitalism and Slavery Eric Williams
How Europe Undeveloped Africa Walter Rodney
African Perspective on Colonialism A. Adu Boahen
Slavery and the Making of America James Oliver Horton and Lots E. Horton
When We Ruled Robin Walker
The Leakeys: A Biography Mary Bowman-Kruhm