Re: Black History Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
While adults, particularly highly-educated ones such as McWhorter and Loury, might feel a certain kind of ennui when it comes to Black History Month, there is still great utility to its recognition when it comes to educating our children. In a lot of classrooms and schools throughout the country, Black History Month becomes the occasion when children learn something of the history and struggle of black people and their allies in the U.S. McWhorter's malaise with Black History Month is reflective of his own experience; however, as a public intellectual, a marker that he and Loury both accept, he ought to consider Black History Month's place among the general populace. Intellectuals, for better or for worse, are often ahead of the knowledge curve of the masses; as "passe" as Black History Month may be for the intellectual class, for many young and lesser-educated people it remains vital and enlightening. Black History Month offers a kind of hyper-focus on a history that many people might otherwise gloss over or skip completely for any number of reasons. When Woodson imagined Black History Month, he didn't have those with Ph.D.s in mind; instead, he saw it was an effort, a political one, to educate common people (including black people) about an important, formative, and shared history.