What Do You Really Know About Black History? By Delina Hill-Brooker

Every day for the past two years or so I’ve posted a Black History fact on my Facebook page. I started in February to honor Black History Month, but when March rolled around, my friends (of all races) were still wanting me to post the Black History facts.

Even in the short amount of time of me posting I learned so much more than what was taught in schools and church. (We all know now that you can’t leave it up to the schools to teach us the bigger picture of Black History, they still teach that Columbus discovered America…where there were already Indians living on the land…so how did you discover where people already were? Silly rabbit) In school they only emphasized on Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, Madame C.J. Walker and George Washington Carver. Not to take away from ANY of these people or what they contributed to our society and to our race, but that is not even a handful of the people who made a difference. The truth of the matter is, Black History is American History. You can’t have one without the other.

There is still so much that I am learning two years later about my history, that I’m sure the average person is not aware of. Which makes me upset because growing up I didn’t care one tiny bit about history. For starters it was boring, and even in my young mind I could still put together that you can’t discover where someone already was. And for the teachers to continuously tell the story with such enthusiasm, honestly made me question their smarts. These people don’t know what they’re talking about. COLUMBUS JUST DIDN’T KNOW AMERICA WAS THERE. THE INDIANS KNEW EXACTLY WHERE THEY WERE. THEN THEY HAD THE NERVE TO TAKE THEIR LAND AND GET MAD BECAUSE THE INDIANS WOULD SKIN THEIR HEADS? The Indians were never the bad guys; they were and still are the victims. When they would talk about slavery, the enthusiasm that they had about Columbus, was not there. They just stated ‘facts’ that were in the few allotted pages of the History book, but never expanded on the bigger picture. The type of people who were kidnapped and forced into slavery: Tribe leaders, Royalty, Common Folk. But the way they taught us about slavery, and the civil rights movement made me uneasy and a little sick to my stomach. I guess you could say that I felt like they were trying to remind me of ‘my place.’ Not saying that was their intention, but that’s how it felt. Being taught about the slaughter, brutality and slavery against my ancestors by a white male or female teacher, who obviously couldn’t relate was hard. To them they were stating ‘facts,’ to me, that was my great, great grandparents. Get it? … And then it was against the law for blacks and whites to date/marry and if they had children they had no place on either side, but when the slave master was raping the slave women it was ok? Mmmmm Like Mary J. Blige, I don’t get that part.

I guess part of my effort in still spreading the facts to all who want to know is to show that even though we were placed in unbearable conditions, to do foreign things, in a foreign land, with a foreign language to learn BY OURSELVES because they separated us from our families OVER, AND OVER – is to show even through all of that, America would not be the America that we have grown to love. Slaves built the White House and we FINALLY have a Black president that we acknowledge, living in it. A lot of our advances as a society have been because of Black people. Not the Black people we know of today, but Black people who had to find a way out of no way, with every opportunity taken from them and kept from them; literally, starting from scratch. There is always a way.

Maybe that’s why in our spirit we feel that we are entitled to more, because we came from more, and more was taken from us. Maybe that’s why we have so many dead beat fathers, because our spirit remembers our wives and children being snatched from us and sold, bought and raped in front of us, so letting go, and putting up our blinders is easier. Maybe that’s why we still fight so hard to be over achievers in the classrooms and University because our spirit remembers a time when we weren’t even allowed to learn to read and write. Maybe that why we have people who live off the system and make it work for them even if they are living in the hood, because our spirit remembers and knows that it’s easier to stomach something being taken from you that you didn’t work for, than what you and your family have put their blood, sweat and tears into.

I don’t know the answers. And I’m sure that there are a lot of fallen unspoken hero’s, of all races that have had a positive impact in Black History. I’m just doing my part in spreading the knowledge. Rather you agree or disagree with what I’ve said in this blog, one thing I know for sure is that it made you think. And I’m fine with that too.

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