Surfin’ on the downside of the holiday wave

There is this article about Harriet Tubman on The Atlantic’s website. We used to get the Atlantic Monthly when I was a kid and I read it when I wasn’t playing the flute or the piano or working my way through my dad’s ancient analytical geometry book. I dunno what’s true or not about Harriet but down in the dungeon, there is a papier mache model of Harriet, who served as a subject for one beach urchin’s Black History Month prodjects for at least two years.

I will never forget the year that particular beach urchin came home and told me about her 3rd-grade Black History month prodject and said something like, “Mr. K said we could choose anyone except this magic person but I don’t know who that is.” That “magic person” was Magic Johnson (of basketball fame) and [sigh] what I knew about him was that he was playing basketball at Moo-U while I was there. My roommate worked at the Big Boy restaurant and, when he first got famous, the restaurant gave him a free meal. Alas, thereafter he would come in and ask if he could have a free meal… I think that Harriet Tubman was a better choice for a prodject but I also think that my daughter may have had an interesting take on Magic Johnson. But what the heck, she was only in 3rd grade, fer kee-reist. I told Mr. K about that whole thing and he laughed but he also got it.

I definitely supported her choice to do her prodject on Harriet Tubman (er, not that I had much to do with it…). I don’t think anyone living knows exactly what Harriet Tubman did but I have a suspicion that she is someone who should be celebrated in HISTORY, not just Black History Month. History is the story of the earth and its geology and all of its living entities and I hate when polly-tickal crap gets in the way of that.

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