Celebrating Black History Month with a bomb threat?
Ignorance is as ignorance does
I took an interest in learning more about Black History Month after learning that several HBCU institutions received bomb threats to mark the start of this year’s celebration. If you are wondering, HBCUs are historically Black colleges and institutions. Somewhere tucked behind Brady’s retirement, Spotify, blizzards, and the Olympics, is the news story that several HBCU’s received bomb threats coinciding with the start of Black History Month.
The FBI believes this current wave of bomb threats were perpetrated by six technology savvy juveniles. Law enforcement have branded these threats as a hate crime, and will prosecute accordingly. No arrests have been made as of now, but I expect that will change soon. Reports attribute these hate crimes as being carried out by followers with Neo-Nazi ties. I do not even want to think of what kind of childhood would lead our sons and daughters to embrace such a twisted ideology.
The cure for ignorance is education. So in that spirit, this year’s Black History Month theme concerns “Black Health and Wellness.”
The Black History Month 2022 theme, “Black Health and Wellness,” explores "the legacy of not only Black scholars and medical practitioners in Western medicine, but also other ways of knowing (e.g., birthworkers, doulas, midwives, naturopaths, herbalists, etc.) throughout the Afri.can Diaspora. The 2022 theme considers activities, rituals and initiatives that Black communities have done to be well
African-American historian and scholar, Carter G. Woodson was the force behind creating Black History Month. He believed that African-American contributions to our nation have been misrepresented or ignored, and he wished to spotlight these contributions in a serious and studious manner for all to see. Woodson is most often identified as the father of Black History Month. His vision and labor launched Black History Week in 1926. The Washington Post recently published an article about Woodson’s role in creating a Negro History week.
It was also in this three-bedroom house, which Woodson bought in 1922 for $8,000, that he would establish “Negro History Week” in 1926. The designated week was set for the second week in February to mark the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, according to the Library of Congress.
Woodson explained the idea behind the celebration. “It is not so much a Negro History Week as it is a History Week,” he wrote, according to the ASALH. “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 hatred and religious prejudice.”
I get an ice cream headache with any attempt to understand why any person would pervert the celebration of African-American history with the hateful act of disrupting the education and betterment of Black students choosing to attend black places of higher education. All I can come up with is that some folks grow a hate born of profound ignorance. Why would you hate someone you don’t even know? A recent CNN report recounted one Jackson State University student’s reaction to the bomb threats.
"I'm uneasy," said Calvert White, 22, a student at Jackson State University in Mississippi. "HBCUs have a long history of physical threats just because of our existence. I think that the threats aren't individual or coincidental -- that it's a clear attack on Black students who choose to go to Black schools."
It is important for good folks to pause the daily grind and be aware when a few among us act with ignorance and malice. It diminishes us all. Challenge the ignorance.
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