I have complicated feelings about Black History Month (and history education in general). I understand why we designate a particular month to educate our children about the contributions of black Americans. I don’t understand why we don’t fashion our history curriculum to include the contributions of all people, whatever color/gender/whatever.

I did not get along well with history classes when I was in high school and I did not take them in college. Whew! Some people feel that way about mathematics. Not me! Gimme more math! History was mostly (to me) memorizing dates and generals and battles and presidents and whatever. Old white men all of them, oh, not that all of them were not important or anywhere near any of the fossils that we keep electing to office in this day and age. I think I would have been more interested in history classes if they had discussed the experience of poor/female/black/whatever people in those times as a backdrop to the dates, etc. I do know that most of our country’s written records come from educated folks, therefore most of our information is from rich white people. A lot of poor/female/black/whatever people were illiterate. This is a conundrum that probably cannot be solved.

So, I cannot find Harriet Tubman today. I mean the papier-mâché Harriet Tubman that I thought was in the Landfill Dungeon. I was looking for her because I saw some news story about how Harriet’s image on the USD twenty dollar bill was being delayed or whatever. I don’t know if this is because of the typical Trumpian Crapola or if there is an actual business reason that makes it difficult to change images on currency. I would love to see Harriet on US currency but I do understand the need for adhering to business rules. After all, it’s just paper money and I use plastic for almost all my transactions. But still.

I am remembering the Haisley upper el Black History Month prodjects. One of the beach urchins chose Harriet Tubman a couple years in a row. That was fine with me. I did have to laugh when she told me that one of the teacher’s requirements for the prodject was that they could *not* do the prodject on what she called “some magic guy”.

OMG! Has anyone ever heard of Magic Johnson? Basketball Star? Yes. My beach urchin had NO CLUE who Magic Johnson was. Her teacher (Mr. K of Multiplication Blues piano playing) gnoffed and gnoffed when I told him about that. I regard the fact that my kid didn’t know a basketball star as a parenting success.

Especially since… Before Magic Johnson became a Laker, he grew up in Lansing. He was a star player at Moo-U and sometimes visited the Big Boy near where I once lived in East Lansing. A friend of mine was a waitress there and reported that he came in there expecting free food. He was a star and had received free food there before. Nope. But he was still a poor kid then. I doubt he asks for free restaurant food any more.

One Response to “Hysterical”

  1. Margaret Says:

    I did take two history classes in college and they were some of the most challenging courses ever, although extremely interesting. I love learning about history, but I’m not very good at it. Growing up with three athletic brothers and an athletic dad, I know way too much about sports, including Magic Johnson.