Join Continuing Conversations on Race and White Privilege on March 2, at 7 p.m. when Don Stryker and Howard Hudson will facilitate a discussion focusing on perceptions of Black History Month. Everyone is welcome to this safe, confidential opportunity to talk about difficult topics. This month the conversation will be on the third floor of the Princeton Public Library.

Click here for a synopsis of the history of Black History Month.

Ideas and questions to consider:

  1. What does Black History Month mean to you?
  2. Do you think there should be a Black History Month?
  3. Is the meaning and importance of Black History Month different for blacks and whites?  Should it be?
  4. What is your reaction when some people argue that if there is a Black History Month, then to be fair, there needs to be a White History Month?  Does this argument get to the core of white privilege?
  5. Has American History generally treated everyone equally, or has it downplayed the contributions of people who do not fit the dominant cultural norm, i.e. white, male, Christian and economically secure?
  6. How can a child relate to and understand history when no one in the narrative is of the same race, or culture, or gender, or religion or class?
  7. Why do you think that the writers of American History fail to include all the people who make up America?  Is the narrative of history politicized in this country?
  8. What would American History be like if it included all of the people who make up this country?

This opinion piece from the American Right was posted on February 28, 2015, in an e- publication called Town Hall Daily.  It is appropriate to our conversation about black history and its place within the context of American history.  This piece lays out the right’s argument that teaching black history is actually divisive, undermines the American story and encourages “…racial strife directed at white Christian Republicans.”  That is an actual quote from the article. The opinion piece blames Black History Month for having “…produced an entitlement mentality amongst blacks,”  and becoming “…little more than a tool for liberal academics and the racial grievance industry to perpetuate revisionist history that suits their agenda to transform America.”  The writer of this opinion piece is Carl Jackson, a black man who reminds me of Dr. Ben Carson, who also writes for Town Hall Daily.  Dr. Carson by the way is currently is dabbling with a presidential run.

Don  Stryker