LA Times – In a letter addressed to parents and community members, a South Los Angeles elementary school principal apologized Thursday for “questionable decisions” about which prominent African Americans to highlight in a parade marking the culmination of Black History Month.
Lorraine Abner’s letter did not name the individuals. But her apology came after three teachers at Wadsworth Avenue Elementary School were suspended while the Los Angeles Unified School District investigates allegations that they had their first-, second- and fourth-grade students carry pictures of O.J. Simpson, Dennis Rodman and RuPaul at last Friday’s event.
“Unfortunately, questionable decisions were made in the selection of noteworthy African American role models,” the letter said. “As the principal, I offer my apology for these errors in judgment.”
I don’t know about you, but for me Black History is Black History. If we remove one part of it, we are not telling the whole story. It is the whole story that makes history. We as African-Americans have had to fight to have our history included. Now it would be a little hypocritical for us to start excluding people. To now start removing people or making apologies is unacceptable.
RuPaul represents a portion of our community. We can’t celebrate our LGBTQ brothers and sisters? There was a time in history before the trial and acquittal when O.J Simpson was a hero. You remember those commercials. Dennis Rodman was one hell of a basketball player. I think that Michael Jordan could give you a list of reasons why he should not be discarded.
I’d also like to note that the tale of O.J is not equal to the stories of Rodman and Rupaul. Come on, people. LA, I thought you guys were more progressive than this. Oh no, I forgot…Prop 8. Ok, but yall do like basketball so Rodman is ok, right. Oh no, Yall only like the Lakers! SMH
I really, really wanted to be surprised by this story, but I know better. Walmart is about business, the business of selling stuff. They want $$. I think this is a case of capitalism…not racism. Let’s be honest, if you wanted to promote a product that would appeal to the largest number of Black people would you choose “Chappelle’s Show — Season 2 Uncensored” or For Love of Liberty: The Story of America’s Black Patriots,” a four-hour documentary? I’m going with Chappelle. I’m not saying that Black folk aren’t interested in this type of documentary. I saw it on TV last week on PBS and it was great. However, I’m not interested in buying it. I’m a Netflix person anyway, so maybe I shouldn’t comment.
I have more of a problem the choice of subject matter they are associating with Black History Month in their advertising [The Players’s Club?]. Then again, WE let companies sell us everything from DVDs to cars to chicken nuggets when their theme is Black History. Sigh.
SunTimes.com: Vietnam veteran Ronald Price considers himself snubbed by Wal-Mart.Wal-Mart Stores Inc. rejected for inclusion in its Black History Month displays “For Love of Liberty: The Story of America’s Black Patriots,” a four-hour documentary in which a Who’s Who of Hollywood is enlisted to document the history of blacks in the military.
What did make it to the prominent displays at the world’s largest retailer? “Thug Angel — Tupac Shakur,” a documentary of the slain rapper; the strip club-set flick “The Players Club,” and Dave Chappelle’s sketch comedy series “Chappelle’s Show — Season 2 Uncensored” were among 50 titles approved for the special promotion in entertainment sections.
“I think it was a slap in our face, as far as being war veterans,” said Price, an African-American South Holland resident. “I would never buy anything out of Wal-Mart anymore.” [Full Article]
The LA Times is reporting that UC San Diego administration and local civil rights activists have condemned a student party themed “Compton Cookout” in honor of Black History Month.
Campus administrators said Wednesday that they were investigating whether the off-campus party, held Monday, and its Facebook invitation violated the university’s code of conduct and whether its sponsors should be disciplined. Members of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity were identified as among the organizers, but the fraternity president has criticized the event and said his club did not sponsor it.
Promising a taste of “life in the ghetto,” the Facebook invitation contained many racist stereotypes. For example, it urged women to dress as “ghetto chicks” who “usually have gold teeth, start fights and drama, and wear cheap clothes.” It said the menu would include chicken and watermelon.
History professor Danny Widener, who directs the university’s African American studies program, said he was outraged but not surprised by the party. He said African American students comprise less than 2% of undergraduates at UC San Diego, which he described as inhospitable to them. “The campus climate is one in which you are constantly regarded as a statistical anomaly at best,” he said. [Source: LA Times | Full Article]
My Opinion: If we in the Black Community continue to allow so-called “ghetto fabulous” culture to be the predominant export from our urban sector, we will continue to see incidents like this. When one travels around the globe, you see people of all races and creeds mimicking urban culture, especially hip hop culture. If we don’t want to see young, white college students mocking this same culture, we have to be aware and accountable. If we don’t want to see black culture boiled down to clothing, bling and speech patterns, we have to stop promoting images, music, etc. that are not affirming. If “ghetto” is not balanced by a more complete pictures of African-Americans, what do we really expect to happen. There is work to do, and with a void of leadership and strong national movements, each individual has to do their part. Consider whether the movies, television show, and music you consume contribute to a positive world view of the Black community.
African American speedskater Shani Davis, Team USA, won his second gold medal last night in the 1,000-meter.
Shani became the first African American to win an individual Winter Games event four years ago.
Last to skate, the Chicago native had just the fifth fastest time with 400 meters remaining, 0.26 seconds behind the Korean. But he exploded on the final turn and, with the sold-out crowd at the Olympic Oval roaring, came home with the day’s best time.
This brother is making Black History! Congrats!
Hey, perhaps someone should foward this info to the NHL and let them know that recruiting more brothers for hockey teams might be a great idea.
Photo: CHRIS CARLSON / Associated Press
After I got through laughing at Darius Spearman’s hair (LOL LOL…what is going on on the right side of his head?) I was able to focus on the message.
Filed under academic, african american, black, black history, black man, culture, history, opinion, race, racism, slavery
From a very interesting article in the International Herald Tribune…
“…Slaves who worked inside and outside the White House were known for their labors. Washington planner Pierre L’Enfant rented slaves from nearby slaveowners to dig the foundation for the White House, and White House designer James Hoben used some of his slave carpenters to build the White House.
President George Washington forced slaves from Mount Vernon to work as staff inside “the President’s House” in Philadelphia during his term, starting a tradition of enslaved men and women working for the president in his residence that would continue until the 1850s. Not only did they work in the White House, enslaved men and women lived there as well.
According to the White House Historical Association, the slave and servant quarters were in the basement, now called the ground floor. The rooms now include the library, china room, offices and the formal Diplomatic Reception Room. At least one African-American baby was born there, in 1806 to Fanny and Eddy, two of Jefferson’s slaves. The child, who was considered a slave too, died two years later.
History values these slaves for more than just their labor. Continue reading
Filed under african american, black, black history, change, culture, d.c., government, history, news, slavery, society, washington, washington dc
Here’s my list.
1. Negro National Anthem
2. Black Butterfly
3. Love’s in Need of a Love Today
4. Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
5. We Shall Overcome
What are your inspirational five?