Time Away

I was a bit bed-ridden this weekend, so writing a post just wasn’t going to happen. There were…emissions. It wasn’t pleasant. I thought about doing just a photo post, but I took a nap instead.

Since the next Saturday is the first of March, the beginning of spring, I have one more shot to do a relevant post. I could cheat and just link to ones I already wrote years ago, but that just seemed half-assed; besides, I did that last year. So instead, I will find one more historical figure, one I didn’t know, or barely knew, and finish off my month with that.

Or…

Sunday, March 2nd is the night of the Academy Awards. Nominations came out back in the middle of January. Much of the discussion was about what films and actors might be nominated, not because of their particular talents, but because of their skin color. In 1939, back when it was still legal to discriminate against someone because of their ancestry, the Academy Awards did something unheard of – they gave an award to Hattie McDaniel, the actress who played “Mammy” in the movie “Gone With the Wind.ˆ” Since it was 1939, she couldn’t get the best actor/actress; no film with a black lead would ever get noticed, let alone nominated. But she could get supporting actress, playing a maid. The sort of roles available to black actors and actresses were quite often uncomplimentary†. Servants and slaves, always low intelligence, always exaggerated, comical, non-threatening caricatures. If you wanted to work though, you played the game. Play the game, win their confidence, and it becomes easier to talk them into meatier roles.

Shirley Temple Black did quite a lot of films when she was a little girl, and was the darling of Depression-era America. She did something that had never before been done – she danced on-screen with a black man. Not just anyone, mind, but the unparalleled Mr. Bill “Bojangles” Robinson. He had made a name for himself in Vaudeville, one of the earliest black performers to do so. He was cited as an inspiration for Sammy Davis Jr. and Gregory Hines, as well as Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly°. And here he was on screen, dancing with America’s sweetheart. More than once. I wasn’t around then, so I don’t know what kind of reaction the public had to this. It’s something worth considering that many of the segregation and anti-miscegenation laws were really aimed at keeping black men away from the white women. So in these movies, we have a black man dancing with America’s favorite little blond girl; it’s kind of a big deal, here. Perhaps the fact that he was in a subservient position (most commonly, an antebellum butler) made it more palatable to audiences. After all, they made four movies together. Shirley Temple herself really didn’t know much about the systemic racism, but as a child, sheltered as she was, why would she? What she did know is she had an adult who respected her, and she respected him; the skin color was secondary.

Fifty years ago, Sidney Poitier was the first black actor or actress to win Best Actor in a lead role honors. Because of the paths actors like Hattie McDaniel and Bojangles Robinson forged, he was able to choose roles that were uplifting, intelligent, strong. Took a lot of flak for it, too, people saying he was too milquetoast, whitewashed, non-threatening. There is a time to break down the door, and a time to slip in quietly; Sidney Poitier slipped in quietly. Because of his roles, because of the public’s apparent acceptance, the door was open for performers like Bill Cosby to play characters who just happened to be black, as opposed to just black characters. Yes, there’s a difference. One is a character that is not race- or ethnicity-specific, the other is one that it is too easy to turn into a caricature. Look at The Cosby Show – A lawyer and an obstetrician, upper-middle class, raising their five children, worried about homework and pot and pregnancy scares and dating, things anyone else would be worried about. Those roles were not black-specific – those characters could have been played by any race; which was kinda the point.

Still, it was almost 40 years before the next Best Actor/Actress award was won by a black actor – Denzel Washington for Training Day, Halle Berry for Monster’s Ball. There have been other winners, mostly of supporting Oscars (one other Best Actor for Jaime Foxx in Ray). There have been other actors and actresses who’ve won awards for movies with a racial theme of some sort, including Sandra Bullock for the highly-embellished movie The Blind Side. It’s supposed to be about Michael Oher, a defensive player on the Ravens‡; in order to get butts in the seats, they had to make it more about Leigh Ann Tuohy, the white woman who took him in.

This year could be different. With 12 Years a Slave and The Butler both being critically acclaimed and with several nominations, another bit of history could be made. If 12 Years a Slave, for instance, was to win best picture, it would be the first time a black director’s film won. Perhaps the result, if that were to happen, would be much like the climate after Kathryn Bigelow’s Hurt Locker wins, including Best Picture AND Best Director – which is to say not much different. Still, it was nominated for Best Director and Best Picture, along with seven other nominations, including supporting actor and actress and best actor.

I’ll be watching the Oscars this Sunday, in part because I do enjoy Ellen DeGeneres. Honestly, I’ll probably get bored not long after the opening number. But I’ll be curious to see what happens, what makes the news Monday morning.

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Nothing to do with the post – I just felt like posting a duck on ice.

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ˆStill trying to reconcile the whole liking the book and movie with the subject matter and the knowledge that only a few generations back, my ancestors were only 3/5ths human, by law

†Slight understatement…

°Who I still have a bit of a crush on

‡Ptooie! Who Dey!!! Okay, I feel better, now.

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Loving You

How do I begin this one? It’s a tricky subject, one that isn’t as controversial as it used to be, but still pretty darn divisive. There are companies that are being boycotted for featuring families like this, for offending the sensibilities of people who think it is a violation of human decency.

Interracial families. Specifically, Black/White combinations. More specifically, Black man/White woman combinations. White/Asian is almost acceptable†, because Asians are ‘practically white’ to some of the more bigoted folk, and everyone wants to have a bit of Native American in them. Even White/Latino – as long as the Latino isn’t too dark – won’t raise many eyebrows. Both have been featured in commercials for quite some time. As long as it’s the man who’s white, anyway. But everyone knows that black folk aren’t as good as white folk, otherwise why would they have allowed themselves to be slaves for so long‡, so of course marrying one, and, God-forbid, reproducing with one, is beyond abominable, for White, Asian, Latino, and historically, Native peoples. Complicating matters, there are plenty of black folks who have a problem with marrying outside of the race as well. The anti-miscegenation laws* were aimed at preventing black men in particular from marrying white women, a pure flower to be protected at all costs. That attitude is still there.

Now, it’s still February, and there’s already a theme in place, and this does relate, I promise. This post, however, is proving far more difficult to write than I expected. Not because of the subject matter per se; more because I’m trying to avoid putting too much of my own feelings into this. Not to appear objective, I’ve already made it perfectly clear where I stand on this, but to allow my commentary to remain coherent, accessible.

Shall we press on?

Eden Melting 227b
Couples along the Ohio River

In 1967, the US Supreme Court made a decision on the case Loving vs. Virginia, about a white man and black woman who were legally married in half of the US states, and not legally in the other half (sound familiar?). Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving of Virginia fell in love, and did what young people in love often do, in spite of the boards and swords and corsets and belts between them, and what happened is what happens sometimes. Since 1924^, miscegenation – the mixing of two different racial groups through a romantic relationship of some sort – was illegal in their home state, so they went to Washington DC to marry. After they returned to Virginia, their home was raided while they slept, and, since miscegenation was a felony, they were arrested. After citing a biblical passage justifying his position, the judge sentenced them to a 1-year-term in jail, suspended if they left the state. They did.

Before June 12, 1967, they couldn’t travel together in Virginia; visiting family was difficult, and they were essentially isolated in DC where, while their marriage was legal, the attitude wasn’t overwhelmingly welcoming. After a letter to the US AG, Robert Kennedy, and a follow up to the ACLU, they were on their way to making history.

While they’re the most famous, they’re hardly the only history-changing interracial marriage. It’s one that means a lot to me, though, since I was born just a few years after that became the law of the land.

Alright, so how does this relate to Black History Month? An interracial relationship is certainly not a celebration of black history, but of diluting the races, so that neither is pure. Everyone knows that black men are all about getting white women, and leaving black women behind. That black women are only interested in being with white men, and having nothing more to do with other black people.

Really? I know there are people who think that – they’ve felt no qualms about telling me so, and they come from either side. Some of those same people have often confronted me, telling me I’m a high-yellow wannabe because of the color of my skin, and the way I speak (again, both black and white), that I think I’m better than they are. What that tells me is somewhere along the way, someone told them that because they have more melanin than someone else, they are inferior. That with that inferiority comes insecurity, and lashing out at those who they think have it easier, instead of working to prove those who have told them this lie were wrong. This is a specific type of person that can be found within every race; growing up where I did, my greatest exposure was to the black ones. Even in college, with it’s 2.3% black population, and a majority of students – of all races – from upper-middle-class to wealthy families. Twenty-odd years on, and it still stings that I was told my sophomore year I was no longer welcome to sit with the group of black students I’d known because “they didn’t think I was black enough.” No, stings would indicate I was hurt by that. And for a moment, I was. But then I was angry. For the rest of my college career, I had very little to do with the black community on campus – with that attitude, they were no better than the white students who thought skin color determined intelligence or value, as far as I’m concerned. Both attitudes are equally harmful. Understanding what it takes to advance, to learn, to grow, that is what is helpful. Listening to someone who thinks differently than you. That is what makes a difference, allows growth, change, and progress.

Does that mean I think black people should subsume themselves into the white majority culture?Absolutely not! It does mean there are more important things to worry about, like making education more important than appearance, being able to present a coherent argument when faced with an ‘educated’ bigot, and being able to walk away when needed, and fight when necessary. There are times to stand by and take it, and there are times to stand up and say ‘no more’. With the right approach, progress is made; with the wrong one, it is set back.

During the height of the Roman Empire, in the Mediterranean, they extended through Europe and Africa, the Middle East, and even western Asia. Because of that, African blood was introduced as far north as England, long before there was such a thing as America and the Slave Triangle. There is no such thing as a ‘pure’ race anymore, not in this country, not unless you’re 1st or 2nd generation, and even then, it’s unlikely. Fight to prove the stereotypes are wrong. Demonstrate that the bigots are wrong. Show that you are NOT inferior simply because of the color of your skin. Striking down anti-miscegenation laws shows that the law – in theory if not yet in practice – considers all races to be equal.

One last note: Before she passed, Mildred Loving was asked about the marriage equality issue, and about how people were using the case of Loving vs. Virginia to justify the striking down of bans against same-sex marriage.

I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry… I am still not a political person, but I am proud that Richard’s and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight, seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That’s what Loving, and loving, are all about.

 – Mildred Loving (1939 – 2008)

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1 Corinthians 13:8-13 (NIV):

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. 11 When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.


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†I’m well-aware there’s plenty of hate for this combination, too.

‡Yes, I have actually read this statement from someone who was serious

*Not everyone waited for the law to do its thing.

^No, that’s not a typo, it’s not supposed to say 1824, it’s 1924.

#This is not a great term for that group of people. Supremacy evokes a sense of power, and frankly, there’s only one group in this country that has enjoyed that for centuries.

February in Winter*

Eden Melting 284b
A ‘warm’ day in the city – almost 50! It snowed (again) the next day.

Winter and I don’t really get along well. I enjoy a good mug of hot chocolate with marshmallows or whipped cream (after I take my lactaid), and I do miss careening head-first down a hill, plunging toward the gully below that might, or might not, have water – or ice, then turning around, grabbing the string, trudging back up the hill to go again. Even then, winter was not fun for me. I was afraid I might have trouble °posting on Wednesdays this month, especially this week. Still, can’t spend all day in bed playing Clash of Clans† – gotta have time to build up resources, so it gets boring just sitting and watching them mill around, purposeless, pointless, lost.

So since winter in general and February in particular are so difficult for me, especially this year when we actually have winter, I have to find another way to make myself post. Lucky me, February is Black History Month, giving me LOTS of subjects to choose from.

In 1869, Cincinnati had the first all-professional baseball team. It’s kind of a big deal. Every Opening Day game (yes, it deserves the capitals) is played at home. Most of the time, anyway. For decades, the Reds played the first game of the season – no one else threw out a pitch in the regular season before the Reds. Opening Day was an event – still is – when fans would take the day off work, or at least a half day if they worked downtown, and head for the ballpark to watch the first game. Sometimes it was sunny and warm, sometimes it snowed. Baseball, even with a team that can be very disappointing, is important here.

2013-09-28 Reds Loss 003a
Great American Ballpark. Gorgeous day.
Reds lost, though.

I’m gonna let you in on a little secret – my hometown has a little problem with embracing diversity. There are plenty of people who couldn’t care less what color a person is, people who recognize another human being regardless of sexual orientation, and the neighborhoods within the city are more integrated than they were when I was a kid. Get outside of the city limits and it’s another story altogether. That’s not what this is about; this is about baseball, a game that boys and girls play in the street with a regulation bat, ball, and glove on a diamond, or a stick and a tennis or raquet ball, bases painted on the street, play interrupted by cars. It’s about a game that gives us a festival day, an extra-long lunch if you’re along the Findlay Market Opening Day Parade route, a reason to wear a ball cap at work, or at least a red tie. It’s a warm May afternoon, hot dog (or brat) in one hand, cold beverage in the other. It’s a sultry August night, hair pulled back in a ponytail, sweat rolling down your back, waiting for the fireworks to start. It’s a tense late September, if you’re in The Hunt, a tough ticket to get, especially for a game that matters. If you’re lucky, it’s an October (and November) of pride, wearing your colors every chance you get, a knowing smile shared with with the others in your club.±

Mr. Harmon honored in 2004, fifty years after joining the Reds
Mr. Harmon honored in 2004, fifty years after joining the Reds

Now what’s a game without its players? Everyone knows their favorites. In case you’re wondering, yes, I do believe Pete Rose belongs in the Hall of Fame. Now, on the diamond, there’s a range of men from different countries, men with different melanin levels, men who are just there to play ball. It wasn’t always that way. although, it sorta started out that way. In 1884, for instance, Moses “Fleetwood” Walker was the first black player in the major leagues. He wasn’t the only one, either. That all changed in 1890, though, when there was an official ban against black players on the books, until 1946. Everyone knows what happened in 1947, with the Brooklyn Dodgers and Jackie Robinson. There was just a movie about him. If you don’t know who he was, I will assume you aren’t American or a fan of baseball, and consider it tragic. Look him up – you might find a little information about him. Slowly every team in the major leagues at that time began integrating their teams. Cincinnati had two – Nino Escalera and Chuck Harmon, both starting on April 17, 1954. Now these two men – still living as of this post – weren’t huge names, weren’t setting the baseball world on fire, but they were making history. Mr. Harmon says he was just playing ball, didn’t really think much about it, that “… You don’t realize when you’re actually making history.” I suppose that’s part of what makes it easier, when you’re allowed to think that. Jackie Robinson didn’t have that choice, when he was called up from the Negro Leagues.

Where did the Negro Leagues come from. Well, obviously there was a need going unfilled. There were black men that wanted to play ball, and teams that weren’t willing to let them. The first known professional all-black team was formed in 1885, just a year after “Fleetwood” Walker joined Toledo. Six years before that, though, a child was born who was destined to change history for these players. Andrew “Rube” Foster – who won his nickname by out-pitching Rube Waddell of the Philadelphia A’s,ˆ would grow up to make successful something that had been attempted when he was only eight or so. The first Negro League was formed in 1887. It failed after only a couple weeks, due to lack of interest. Andrew Foster was a pitcher on an all-black team – since he could not join a major league team – and spent a lot of time on the road, as many of them did. While there were plenty of teams to play, it was disorganized, as each team was out for itself. In order to get a more consistent game, he decided he would get all the owners together, and force them into a league with the same rules and requirements. In 1920, the Negro National League was born. After his passing, it failed, for whatever reasons such things do. Revived again in 1933, now that there was a demand, and the knowledge that it could be done, and done successfully, the new owners were a bit more – colorful than Walker might have preferred, but again, it thrived.

This winter has been difficult for me, as I mentioned. But the Reds’ pitchers report to spring training tomorrow, and Opening Day is 46 days away. Spring is almost here…

After
Almost spring…

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*Yes, I actually meant to write it that way. February hasn’t been the nasty, cold, brutish, dark month I knew in my youth for a very long time. It’s making up for it this year.

†Years ago, back when a 14.4 modem was considered fast, and DSL was new, I MUDded. It was a dark time; it wasn’t uncommon for me to come home from work, grab something to eat, sit down at the computer and play, stopping in time to make breakfast and go to work again. Then The Sims‡ came out…

‡I may have stayed up all night for the MUD, but I upgraded my machine for The Sims. I’m not proud. Well, a little proud.

±’The Tribe’ is the Cleveland Indians. Ewwie.

ˆThat was hard to write; the As is short for Athletics, not Athletic’s. But, it seems officially it, like the now Oakland A’s, includes the apostrophe ‘s.’ The grammarian in me has gone for a lie down.

Winter Stories

Ballet in the Opening Ceremony
Ballet in the Opening Ceremony

It’s Olympic season again; time for the world to come together and root for their team. This year, in Sochi, there are a few…problems; perhaps opportunities for improvement. Some Olympians have decided their personal safety was more important than the medals. Even the opening ceremonies weren’t without incident. Still, for those who love sport, for those who love competition, for those who love to see the world come together, it is exciting. I spent the early morning watching Speed Skating today, a sport that on the surface may look dull, but in reality, the power and precision required to compete, let alone succeed, is incredible. The 5,000 meter speed skate was dominated by the Dutch, with a rare medal sweep, and I got to watch it as it happened. Some of the names were familiar, although most weren’t; the level of attention needed for that is beyond my ability, and frankly, my desire. The only names that were familiar, I knew from Vancouver in 2010, four years ago.

One of those names hasn’t competed, yet – Shani Davis.

His Olympic career began in 2002, for the Salt Lake City games.† There was a bit of controversy, involving how he got on the team in the first place. Hungry for more, he left early to compete in two other competitions, where he won the 1,500 meter in each, the first American to do so.

Shani Davis in Nagano, World Sprint Championships
Shani Davis in Nagano, World Sprint Championships 2014

That’s wonderful, possibly even exciting, but so what? Well, you know, it is still Black History Month. Shani Davis, aside from being in his fourth Olympics, is also the first black speed skater on the US Olympic team. Maybe it doesn’t seem like so much, but as history will show, in the past several decades, the summer Olympics tend to be dominated by one group, and the winter by another. All require intense dedication and concentration to be any good. There are several reasons why skiers tend to be white; cost is one of them. While there are plenty of poor white people, the higher up the economic ladder you go, the fewer people of other races you see. Unless you happen to live in an area with relatively-easy access to skiing – regardless of your race –  gotta have a couple bucks to do it. Ski resorts aren’t exactly known for their diversity, either. There’s the casual racism evident in that society – it’s not necessarily malicious, but it really is quite thoughtless – as in any, but it’s a bit different when dealing with people who’s only interaction is usually as an employer to a menial, rather than an equal. Dealt a bit with that when I got to college. Those kids weren’t loaded, but they were used to living in an area that there parents moved to, because ‘those people’ were taking over the other neighborhoods. Ohio isn’t the most integrated state.

But I digress; Shani Davis, first black speed skater on the US Olympic team. He won gold in 2006 in Turin, and again in 2010 in Vancouver for the 1,000 meter race, and silver at both Olympics in the 1,500. It was kind of a big deal, really, and that’s sad. It’s cool, too, since it’s not such a big deal now – we’re used to him. Kinda the point, really. Doors need to be opened, so more people realize they have options. Again, why we need a Black History Month, among others.

Switching gears –

There was more snow - it's a little worse.
There was more snow – it’s a little worse.

This past week hasn’t been pleasant for me. It’s been extremely stressful, as a matter of fact. Has been for a while, really, and a lot of it – not all by any stretch – is related to work. It’s exhausting waking up in the morning, knowing your day is going to be a nightmare, then coming home with barely enough energy to make something to eat. There’s also the fact that it’s cold and snowy outside, and the street to my street has not been plowed, and poorly treated. Last night coming home from work, I had a little extra fun when I turned onto that street – after coming to a complete stop – pushing it a bit so that I could get a running start and not get stuck, only to see a car coming the other way, slowing down. That side of the street had been flattened out a bit, either from traffic, or one of the private plows trying to make life a little easier.

I’m very tired of this winter. I haven’t had to deal with one like this in over a decade. My closet confirms that – I have nothing really suitable for winter. Not a real winter. I’ve worn no less than two layers for most of the past several weeks. It’s reminding me of why I always hated winter. The fact that tomorrow is my mother’s birthday, well, that doesn’t help. Four weeks from now will be the anniversary of her passing. That’s always fun. So, like I said, it’s not all work-related.

There was quite a bit more I wanted to get into, something inspired by my watching of Moulin Rouge earlier today, but I lost it. I should have written it down. Matters not, it’s gone. I’m watching The Fisher King right now, preceded by A Knight’s Tale. Probably go back to the Olympics after this is over.

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† In 2002, I was living in Colorado Springs. One evening, I was driving home from work, when I noticed a large traffic jam – no one was moving. Then I heard the cheering. I realized why we were stopped. I opened the sun roof of my convertible and stood on the driver’s seat, watching the Olympic torch pass by.

Why Black History Month?

I hear this question from time to time. Why do we need a whole month for black history? Why do we need a whole month for women’s history (March)? I think my personal favorite comment is the one where someone complains there isn’t a white history/male history month. That right there tells me they don’t see it. They don’t see a world where by virtue of being a white male, you already have an advantage. Throw in upper-middle-class and you’re nearly set. Laws did not have to be written requiring employers to disregard the male gender as potential employees, or to have to hire people no matter how white their skin. White men weren’t overwhelmingly lynched in the south within the last century, for no other reason than to ‘teach them others a lesson.’ Men didn’t have to pretend to be women to go to war or get a job or have a bank account or get published. Whites didn’t have to pass for black and have no contact with their families just so they stood a chance of getting out of grinding poverty.

You’ve heard of Thomas Edison, famous inventor, generally considered a bit of a jerk. What about Lewis Latimer? Because of him,  you don’t have to hang out the window if you need to relieve yourself on the train. He also worked as a drafstsman for Alexander Graham Bell, a skill he learned while working at a patent office. The picture with the patent? That’s his. Latimer came up with a way to make lightbulb filaments last longer, improving the life of a bulb beyond even what Edison had managed, making them easier for more people to afford. Because he was working for a company and not on his own, the patent belongs to US Electric Lighting Company (this was and remains common practice). Because of his skill with electric lighting, he didn’t have to worry too much about finding work. Down the road, he was eventually hired by Edison himself, working in the legal department as a draftsman and patent expert, even testifying in court when patents were challenged.

Speaking of Edison, there’s Granville Woods; him you may have heard of. He started life working in a machine shop where railroad equipment and machinery were repaired, at the ripe old age of ten. History is silent as to why (at least, I’ve not been able to find a reason), but I presume it was because the family needed money more than he needed school. Not that that stopped him – while he was working in the machine shop, fascinated by the electricity around him, he paid other employees to teach him about their jobs, teach him what they know. His knowledge led to more challenging jobs with railroads and steel rolling mills, giving him needed experience. He then went to school to get official training as an engineer. He then served as an engineer on a British steamship, Ironsides. Despite his schooling, his expertise, and his experience, he had a difficult time getting the jobs he deserved- skin was a little too dark. He and his brother started their own company, the Woods Railway Telegraph Company. His fascination with electric and knowledge of the railways led him to remarkable inventions that he sold to companies like General Electric, Westinghouse, and the American Bell Telephone Company.

Alms Snow 022b
The Ohio wasn’t always this deep

Some think having a celebration like this is divisive, that it promotes segregation. That may well be true, considering how its handled. Students will learn about slavery and the Underground Railroad, maybe touch on Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth, have to read books and poetry by James Baldwin or Langston Hughes, learn about blues and jazz and where it may have come from – in February. Instead of having each of those topics discussed when they come up in the historical timeline, they are saved for one month a year. Once the MLK day observation was made a Federal holiday, that gave time to discuss the civil rights movement in January. Doing that around a holiday, that makes perfect sense. I’d expect something similar around President’s Day and Labor Day, and even Columbus Day, regardless of what point the class has reached.

Relegating the stories of the contributions of black Americans to a second-class status of ‘well, we have to talk about this now’ instead of ‘this is part of American history, not just black history,’ that’s what’s causing the divisiveness. When everyone, not just the ones who’ve always had the power, is able to look and say ‘that doesn’t happen anymore,’ when a commercial can be posted on YouTube without having to disable comments due to the ridiculous hate that was posted, when people can stop saying ‘well, okay, but you don’t have to rub my nose in it,’ just because they don’t want to hear anything, see anything, learn anything different from what they already know, then maybe we can stop having these special observances.

I would love to live to see that day. From what I’ve seen of the following generation, I might.