“The first step in changing our condition is to change our minds. By your mind you are transformed. Nothing is more powerful in the world than a made-up mind,” said Shakespeare, in a speech given to Henry V.
That is the dirty little secret one is not likely to hear mentioned very often this month. For the next couple of weeks, libraries and classrooms will be transformed into active centers for the commemoration of black history.
What should be a retrospective of American history has, in many instances, been reduced to nothing more than a historical burlesque show. Platforms perched upon by agenda-driven calumniators are the order of the day (or month, as it were).
Therein lies the problem with what Black History Month has become. It was originally the outgrowth of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, and the Journal of Negro History, both originated by Carter G. Woodson.
Woodson, I would like to think, never intended it to become the cacophony of stentorian riff we evidence today.
Black History Month should be American History Month. It should be a tribute to the triumph of rugged Americanism despite barriers that were never deemed so severe as to not be overcome. While it most certainly should address the accomplishments of the past (for therein is the definition of history), it should also include those figures of the present who have not fallen prey to the tired old message of victimology.
Mindset is the key to success, and the conditioning of the mind to succeed is paramount. What a person believes he can perceive, and what one perceives he can accomplish.
The blacks of our American history recognized this fact and set about conditioning the mind to succeed. Tuskegee Institute (University), The Institute for Colored Youths (now Cheney University), Wilberforce University, Meharry Medical College and Spellman College, to name but a few, were not founded simply because certain doors may or may not have been open to blacks of that day.
Rather, they were founded to condition young minds to be prepared for and to accept success. The mind of the black youth today is, tragically, all too often conditioned not only to fail, but to accept failure.
Carl Jung said, “We have let houses that our fathers built fall into pieces, and now we try to break into Oriental palaces that our fathers never knew.”
Black history is not an isolated history built upon color-coded extolments. History, regardless of how many would present it, is not exclusive; it is inclusive.
So-called black history is the history of America, and it includes Garrett Morgan, the inventor of the first traffic light and the gas mask. He was the father of what we know today as intelligent traffic systems. Morgan established a tailoring shop that employed 32 people and established the Cleveland Call newspaper. American history also includes Gen. Robert E. Lee, Gen. George Patton and President John F. Kennedy.
It includes Percy L. Julian,who developed a way to remove and prepare soybean products such as cortisone to treat arthritis and an extract used in the treatment of glaucoma.
It includes the work of Jane Wright,the former director of the Cancer Research Foundation,who formulated mithramycin, a drug that has proved promising in fighting cancer.
It includes William A. Lester Jr., a theoretical chemist who did research on the troubles of high-velocity molecular collisions and was chosen to manage the National Resource for Computation in Chemistry.
It includes St. Elmo Brady, who in 1916 became the first black to earn a doctorate in chemistry.
The history of America includes James Durham, born in 1762 and the first regularly recognized black physician in the United States. Born a slave in Philadelphia, he was purchased by a Scottish physician in New Orleans who hired him to perform medical services.
The history of America includes Daniel Hale Williams, the black surgeon who performed the first successful open heart surgery. The founder of Provident Hospital in Chicago in 1891, he was also the only black charter member of the American College of Surgeons.
History is replete with the legacies of Americans like Norbert Rillieux, born in 1806 and an inventor and engineer whose patented inventions revolutionized the sugar-refining industry.
But today the legacy of those houses has “fallen into pieces.” Today, rather than seeing a careful enumeration and inclusion of history into history, we see a purposeful erosion of same.
We witness the willful segregation of history because it is profitable to race-mongers and neo-Leninists.
History is not a color – it is the recognition and chronicle of past events. Having a 28-day festival of agitprop does nothing to uplift the whole. It simply continues to validate victimology and immiseration.
Media wishing to interview Mychal Massie, please contact [email protected].