Conservative radio host Jesse Lee Peterson thinks it’s time to give up Black History Month. The media commentator, speaker, columnist, author, activist, pastor, and host of the national radio show “The Jesse Lee Peterson Show” and “The Fallen State” TV web series feels Black History Month is a hindrance to Black America.
The author of the book, “SCAM: How the Black Leadership Exploits Black America,” Peterson recently tweeted: “It’s time to bury #BlackHistoryMonth. It’s a tool to keep Blacks angry about the past. They celebrate bad Blacks, while hiding the truth about decent men like Booker T. Washington, George Washington Carver & others. Wake up Black people! #BlackHistoryMonth2020 #BlackExcellence.”
Black History Month was created by the author of “The Mis-Education of the Negro,” Carter G. Woodson. The son of former slaves, Woodson is considered a pioneer in the study of African-American history. The second African American to receive a doctorate from Harvard, after W.E.B. Du Bois, Woodson became known as the “Father of Black History.”
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He encouraged embedding Black Americans into the nation’s history. “To do this, he established the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. He also founded the group’s widely respected publication, the Journal of Negro History,” CNN reported.
In 1926, Woodson created Negro History Week to highlight the achievements of Blacks in America. He chose the month of February because it marks the birthdays of two men he believed influenced the Black American population – Frederick Douglass, who escaped slavery and became an abolitionist and civil rights leader and President Abraham Lincoln, who signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which abolished slavery.
Douglass’ birthday is February 14, while Lincoln was born on February 12. In 1976, President Gerald Ford recognized Black History Month.
While Peterson believes there is no merit to Black History Month, Civil Rights great Malcolm X stressed the need for Black Americans to know their history, especially their history in connection to Africa.
In a quote from a speech given by Malcolm X at Michigan State University, sponsored by the African Students Association and NAACP Campus Chapter, entitled “The Race Problem in America,” he stressed the need for Black history to be celebrated and studied. In it Malcolm said:
“He believes in exactly what he was taught in school. That when he was kidnapped by the white man, he was a savage in the jungle someplace eating people and throwing spears and with a bone in his nose. And the average American Negro has that concept of the African continent. It is not his fault. This is what has been given to him by the American educational system.
He doesn’t realize that there were civilizations and cultures on the African continent at a time when the people in Europe were crawling around in the caves, going naked. He doesn’t realize that the Black man in Africa was wearing silk, was wearing slippers – that he was able to spin himself, make himself at a time when the people up in Europe were going naked.
He doesn’t realize that he was living in palaces on the African continent when the people in Europe were living in caves. He doesn’t realize that he was living in a civilization in Africa where science had been so far advanced, especially even the astronomical sciences, to a point where Africans could plot the course of the stars in the universe when the people up in Europe still thought the earth was round, the planet was round–or flat.
He doesn’t realize the advancement and the high state of his own culture that he was living in before he was kidnapped and brought to this country by the white man. He knows nothing about that. He knows nothing about the ancient Egyptian civilization on the African continent. Or the ancient Carthaginian civilization on the African continent. Or the ancient civilizations of Mali on the African continent. Civilizations that were highly developed and produced scientists. Timbuktu, the center of the Mali Empire, was the center of learning at a time when the people up in Europe didn’t even know what a book was. He doesn’t know this, because he hasn’t been taught. And because he doesn’t know this, when you mention Africa to him, why he thinks you’re talking about a jungle.
And I went to Africa in 1959 and didn’t see any jungle. And I didn’t see any mud huts until I got back to Harlem in New York City.”