It’s time to end Black History Month, writes Jonathan Zimmerman, a NYU history and education professor, in Education Week. He’s responding to the story about the LA elementary teachers who let students carry photos of O.J. Simpson, RuPaul and Dennis Rodman in a Black History Month parade. (The three teachers were suspended for three days and reassigned to new schools.)
. . . reducing history to a cavalcade of heroes put each one above reproach, giving Black History Month a quasi-religious character. It also spawned ridiculous debates about which deities should be admitted to the temple. The Los Angeles school parade saluted Michael Jackson alongside King, Tubman, and Nelson Mandela. Was Jackson — an accused child molester — a “great” African-American? Who cares?
Worst of all, Black History Month let the rest of the school year off the hook. By isolating black history in a single month, Americans could effectively ignore it at most other times.
Nice idea. It’s about as likely to happen as O.J. catching the “real killer.”