Another year, another Black History Month that ignored black American heroes in favor of stirring up racial division.
Public libraries in Indianapolis; Chicago; New York City; Los Angeles; Seattle; Cincinnati; Washington, D.C.; Miami-Dade County; Memphis, and hundreds of other places around the country use February’s Black History Month as a progressive political soapbox rather than a study of an important history.
Of the libraries’ resource guides listed, only one features celebrations of the countless success stories of black Americans who were champions of medicine, industry, invention, and logistics, on the gruesome battlefields of each American war and intervention, and in every other field in which heroes are revered.
Only St. Louis Public Library included an event for kids celebrating black inventors—although it had to be sandwiched between events called “Black Queer Resistance” and “Celebrate Your Name! Black History Month Keychains.”
Libraries such as the Indianapolis Public Library promote and recommend the false histories peddled by charlatans like The New York Times’ Nikole Hannah-Jones, who claimed that New York City’s wealth came from slavery and that the Union entered the Civil War in 1865. Meanwhile, the brilliant history of black success goes unpraised.
Biographies of the earliest black congressmen—Benjamin Turner, Josiah Walls, and Jefferson Long—are left off the promotional end caps in favor of celebrating violent Marxist revolutionaries such as Angela Davis, who forsook contributing anything of value to society to leave behind streets of blood, pain, and suffering.
Modern black political leaders are shown on a selective basis. While former first lady Michele Obama and new Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson often are prominently displayed, notables such as economist-writer Thomas Sowell, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson are strangely absent.
While the economic philosophies of capitalism and meritocracy are castigated as racist, oppressive tools used to beat down black voices and lives, the brilliant work of black inventors and entrepreneurs are left unspoken, unappreciated, and unstudied.
Jan Matzeliger’s automatic shoe lasting machine, Charles Brooks’ street sweeping machine, Garrett Morgan’s traffic light, and Frederick Jones’ refrigerated trucks and trains raised the standard of American living to insurmountable heights—far above any other nation on Earth. These amazing stories that uplift the spirit and bolster American pride aren’t considered worthy of telling during Black History Month.
Critical race theory has replaced the study of exceptional Americans. America has been stripped of her victories in the Civil War and the civil rights movement, and judged as guilty for a caste system of economic and medical inequities that our public libraries accuse American society of holding up.
The medical genius of Dr. Charles Drew saved millions of lives because of his devotion to safe blood transfusions. But most don’t know his name, much less his legacy.
The first successful open-heart surgery was performed by Dr. Daniel Hale Williams; Carson performed the first separation of Siamese twins conjoined at the head.
Children should be given an opportunity to be inspired by the works of black men and women who improved the lives of everyone in this nation, unifying us through their tireless spirit and determination. We often cite the difficult nature of Thomas Edison’s lightbulb, but we spend no time on Lewis Latimer, Edison’s right-hand man, who invented a filament that made the lightbulb not only feasible but practical.
So-called “Toolkit[s] for Anti-racism Allies” abound, but nothing is told of partnerships between Americans of all colors, such as Edison and Latimer, who worked, fought, and prospered side by side.
This account only scratches the surface of the history that I, as a teacher, enjoyed sharing with my students not only during Black History Month but year-round in science and STEM classrooms.
The brilliance of Elijah McCoy, Andrew Beard, Madam C.J. Walker, Henrietta Bradberry, and thousands of others share a much brighter picture of the United States than the doom-and-gloom proffered by Gloria Ladson-Billings, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Ibram X. Kendi, and Kimberlé Crenshaw.
Black History Month reminds us that the United States was and is the place of opportunity. It is not free from criticism, nor is it free from historical elements and crimes that hurt millions.
One of the greatest aspects of studying history is observing what we have risen above and celebrating those individuals that made us all better with their blood, sweat, and tears.
The books we recommend to our students matter a great deal. Children look to parents and educators to seek guidance in how they spend their time and studies.
Presenting only a range of hyperprogressive propaganda paints a dark picture of this country that ignores those who showed us that great acts of heroism can come from anywhere and anyone.
Don’t ignore American champions because they don’t fit the mold of the downtrodden barred from success. Let’s allow children to celebrate our nation and be inspired.
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