From the abolition of slavery to the Black Power movement, African-American unity has been considered a powerful method to achieve freedom and equality.
A sobering and timely piece by philosopher George Yancy, a specialist on race studies. Black History Month may serve as a reminder of one of the most blaring American contradictions: the undermining of the American dream by its horrendous treatment of various racial and ethnic groups throughout its history. (As an aside, while some would see this last statement as "political" or "biased" or "ideological," I would encourage those individuals to investigate for themselves whether it's true. I don't think it's too hard to find past and present examples of racism—and it's hard for me at least to not take them very seriously.)
From this perspective, it is not clear what we ought to do on Black History Month. More specifically, what is the responsibility of white people on Black History Month? On top of honoring black artists and intellectuals, is there a more sincere way to honestly reflect on your role in America's dark past? It's easy to treat Black History Month as a token of America trying to repent for its sin; it's much harder to answer Yancy's call and really honor the occasion.
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