04 February 2009

Further and further out of the Loop


It completely slipped my mind until I was standing in front of the freezer compartment at the market tonight, trying to decide between brownies and blackberry cobbler, and a somber male voice on the radio intoned a "today in black history" spot. The idea of it struck me as archaic or unnecessary...or something.

I wondered When did this celebration start? Do we still need it? I have no memory of it before the 70s and each year it fades further from awareness for me.

Wikipedia says the holiday originated in 1926 and is celebrated all over the world, usually in February except in the UK where it is observed in October. I wondered how they celebrate Black History Month in China....

Investigation revealed President Obama has declared this National African American History Month. So....does this replace Black History Month? Because surely other countries don't celebrate National African American History month, do they?

Here's something else odd: take a look at this excerpt from Wikipedia:

Negro History Month is also be referred to as Black History Month, or Negro Heritage Month. W.E.B. DuBois' 1935 work "Negro Reconstruction" was an early work in history that pointed to kneegrow contributions.[1]

In the United Kingdom (UK), Kneegrow History Month is celebrated in the month of October. The official guide to Kneegrow History Month in the UK is published by Sugar Media, Ltd., which produces 100,000 copies nationwide.[2]

"Kneegrow"?

A quick Google search produced a surprising number of hits on the word. Is this another one of those cultural developments I missed out on by not owning a TV?


1 comment:

  1. i thought it might be interesting for you. so: in poland we don't have a particular black minority so we don't celebrate national african american history month. usually we don't celebrate black history month either and as far as iam concerned i don't think that in other central europeans countries they do. but: i was in the art gallery in warsaw in january. and in february they organize some film screenings about the history of the black's emancipation in the us. and it is called 'black history month'. so i think i will go and see.

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