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06 February 2017 - Black History Month

The history of Black History Month
(USA Today, 01/02/2017)

Black History Month commemorates the achievements of African-Americans throughout U.S. history.

Read on...

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Black History
 
The History the Slaveholders Wanted Us to Forget
Henri Louis Gates Jr. (The New York Times, 04/02/2017)
 
Writing in 1965, the distinguished British historian Hugh Trevor-Roper argued against the idea that black people in Africa had their own history: “There is only the history of the Europeans in Africa,” he declared. “The rest is largely darkness.” History, he continued, “is essentially a form of movement, and purposive movement too,” which in his view Africans lacked.

Trevor-Roper was echoing an idea that goes back at least to the early 19th century. But it wasn’t always this way. When the young Prince Cosimo de Medici (1590-1621) was being tutored to become the Duke of Tuscany — about the time that Shakespeare was writing “Hamlet” — he was asked to memorize a “summary of world leaders” that included Álvaro II, the King of Kongo, along with the Mutapa Empire and the mythical “Prester John” of Ethiopia. Soon, however, even that level of knowledge about African history would be rare.

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Listening Session
 
Trump began his ‘Black History Month listening session’ with a ‘media complaining session’
Philip Bump (The Washington Post, 01/02/2017)
 
On Wednesday, President Trump kicked off Black History Month by sitting down with African American leaders at the White House — most of whom were people who supported his campaign — for what was billed as a “listening session.” It was, in the sense that the attendees started out spending a lot of time listening to Trump complain about the media.

Below is a transcript of what he said in his introduction, during which the media was present. (It excludes niceties and the introductions of the attendees.) We’ve categorized his comments to give a sense of the conversation.

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'Piss-poor Black History Month Speech'
 
Donald Trump's 'listening session' on Black History Month was anything but
Steven W Thrasher (The Guardian, 02/02/2017)
 
President Trump marked the first day of Black History Month by doing three things: showing off how little he knows about African Americans or our history, attacking an almost entirely white segment of US society (the mainstream media) and outlining some of the ways he intends to help the “inner city”, which will probably bring new levels of hell to black America.

Flanked by Omarosa, a black reality TV personality from The Apprentice, and addressing a room which seemed to have the few Trump voters with melanin in their skin, Trump gave the most lackluster, piss-poor Black History Month speech I can remember since Reagan kicked off the first one.

I am of two minds about the month. At its best, it allows for black Twitter, black culture makers and everyday African Americans to revel in the genius and creativity of our people. But at its worst, it allows blatantly bigoted conservatives (and more insidiously, anti-black liberals) a get-out-of-jail card to say: “Hey, I’m not racist! I love me some peanuts and George Washington Carver!”

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Last update February 6, 2017
Créé le February 6, 2017
ISSN 2107-7029
DGESCO Clé des Langues