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February 10, 2003

Woodson First


I have started the Black History Month discussion at the family dinner table. The kids are old enough to begin to understand these things, and I'd like to catch them up in it before the MLK cult of personality warps their appreciation of history. Deet reminded me of this yesterday. He and his wife and their pianist have a program that's beginning to become an institution in the private schools northeast of Los Angeles. I've got a little catching up to do.

I started, naturally, with Carter G. Woodson. So I grabbed some short facts out of memory and then googled up a few. What got me rolling on the blog was the fact that Jawanza Kunjufu has managed to get himself as the writer of the intro for the African American Images first edition which appears to be the most popular version of this classic on Amazon. Well, I never thought I'd see the day. I'm going to spare you a rant against Kunjufu, the author of "Countering the Conspiracy to Destroy Black Boys, but rest assured that one is coming.

Woodson never loomed large in my firmament of black stars, and I never read The Miseducation of the Negro. By the time I was being raised, the points he raised were fairly common knowledge. Like vaccinations against polio, certain elementary facts and lessons must be repeated to every generation. I got mine first hand from Pops, whose rather staggering personal library continues to delight. Not everyone is blessed with such a mentor and so this mitigates somewhat against the excesses of the likes of Kunjufu. Woodson was the father of all, and for this we are in debt to his memory.

Posted by mbowen at February 10, 2003 09:20 PM

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