It’s Black History Month. Do you know your Black History? You may be surprised to find out that Black History is American History.


Although it’s the shortest month of the year I as an African American man always welcome Black History Month. It was the time when in Catholic middle School I got to learn about Martin Luther King Jr. every single year. It was the time at work I would be questioned if I thought if OJ was guilty or innocent. It was the time during playing pick up basketball my other raced friends got to use the N-word and then catch themselves and say, “It’s ok; some of my best friends are black.”

Finally it is the time that BET rolls out specials like, “Are too many guns getting into the hands of our youth? Or, “Are their too many young black males in our jail systems? Then after asking those questions immediately returning to music videos showing guns in our youths hands or black men rapping from jail cells.

Yes Black History month is a trip. I remember when the state of Arizona didn’t even want a free day off to acknowledge the Martin Luther King Birthday as a holiday. I forgot what Arizona’s argument was but I assume it may have been because Martin Luther King didn’t carry his birth certificate with him on a traffic stop.

I over heard someone state that having a Martin Luther King birthday is singling out a man who was not the greatest of human beings. They stated that he was a womanizer, divided the masses, and did many other things that were questionable. I thought to myself there is a President’s Day right? I believe that George Washington owned the most slaves of any president.

So let’s take a look at America if there were no African Americans. First off I would not be able to upload this blog to the Chicago Tribune Chicago Now offices without the microcomputer system with bus control means for peripheral processing devices. The microcomputer processing system was created by Mark Dean and his co-inventor Dennis Moeller.

As a matter of fact let me think about my day up to this point and see what type of inventions I used that were created by African Americans.

When I woke up this morning it was dark in the room and I had to turn on the lamp. The latern/lamp was created by Michael C Harnye.

After I send this blog I will take a shower and put on my shoes. Couldn’t put on a shoe if it wasn’t invented by William A. Deitz, or the shoe sole which was invented by Ronald S. Demon.

As I get out of the shower I see my wife is still on the bed curling her hair. That would not be possible without the curling iron created by Solomon Harper.

After drying off I am going to brush my teeth. Imagine that the toothbrush and paste holder was created by Jesse Harrison.

Then I am going to walk downstairs and go in the kitchen and cook some breakfast. I forgot, couldn’t cook anything without a stove, which was created by Lewis B. Dorcas. While eating breakfast I am going to listen to one of my favorite singers and guitar players, Prince. You guessed it, couldn’t listen to Prince play the guitar if it wasn’t created by Robert F. Flemmings Jr.

After breakfast I am going to catch up on my sports by watching ESPN. Couldn’t do that without the mass release mechanism for satellites created by Wilson E. Hull. I love ESPN they are showing golf highlights right now. Tiger Woods won again. He hits that golf ball farther and better than anyone I have ever seen. He couldn’t hit the ball that far without the tapered golf tee that was created by George F Grant.

Ok before I go I must get on this stupid scale to check how my diet is going. This is an invention I am not too happy with. The scale was invented by John W. Hunter to terrorize DJ FINK.

That is not the only reason I hate the scale. It is also used to weigh baggage at the airport. Remember when you could stuff everything in one bag and check it in. Now if your bag weighs over 50 pounds it is an extra $75 dollars to check it. Question? How are they going to charge me the extra $75 for the bags and I already have my ticket? You guessed it again. They can charge my credit card with the remote control device with credit card reading and transmission that was created by Andre Henderson.

Anyway it is time to catch a flight. I couldn’t get on an airplane if it wasn’t invented by Hermon L. Grimes and William Hale.

And that’s just one day without African American inventions. Imagine all of the other things that African Americans invented that I didn’t tie into the story.

Remember that as you celebrate Black History Month. And keep this in mind. The N-Word you are using could also stand for N-Ventors.

Just my thoughts man…


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  • Just my thoughts... as an oft mistaken blanco American, I'm wondering if you think Black History is American History, why do you need to break it out with its own month?

    What about all the other minorities, and even enslaved minorities (slaves, you know, they just don't come in the color black)?

    I didn't know content of character had to have its own month.

    Unite it, don't fight it. A special month divides it.

  • February marks the beginning of Black History Month, a federally recognized, nation-wide celebration that provides the opportunity for all Americans to reflect on the significant roles that African Americans have played in the shaping of U.S. history. But how did this celebration come to be -- and why does it take place in February?
    We should emphasize not Negro History, but the Negro in history. What we need is not a history of selected races or nations, but the history of the world void of national bias, race hate, and religious prejudice.

    Dr. Carter G. Woodson (1875-1950) on founding Negro History Week, 1926
    Dr. Carter G. Woodson, considered to be a pioneer in the study of African American history, is given much of the credit for Black History Month. The son of former slaves, Woodson spent his childhood working in coalmines and quarries. He received his education during the four-month term that was customary for black schools at the time. At 19, having taught himself English fundamentals and arithmetic, Woodson entered high school, where he completed a four-year curriculum in two years. He went on to receive his Masters degree in history from the University of Chicago, and he eventually earned a PhD from Harvard.
    Disturbed that history textbooks largely ignored America's black population, Woodson took on the challenge of writing black Americans into the nation's history. To do this, Woodson established the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. He also founded the group's widely respected publication, the Journal of Negro History. In 1926, he developed Negro History Week. Woodson believed that "the achievements of the Negro properly set forth will crown him as a factor in early human progress and a maker of modern civilization."
    In 1976, Negro History Week expanded into Black History Month. The month is also sometimes referred to as African American Heritage Month.
    Woodson chose the second week of February for the celebration because it marks the birthdays of two men who greatly influenced the black American population: Frederick Douglass (February 14), an escaped slave who became one of the foremost black abolitionists and civil rights leaders in the nation, and President Abraham Lincoln (February 12), who signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which abolished slavery in America's confederate states.
    Because of his work, Dr. Woodson has been called the "Father of Black History."

  • I couldn't agree more that Black History is every American's history. That's how I taught it before I retired.

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