America Needs an Education in WhitenessRoundup
tags: racism, Race, American History, White Supremacy, Whiteness
These 28 days of Black History Month are dedicated to the sometimes painful and absolutely essential history of Americans of African descent. The month also brings the usual grumblings demanding a white equivalent. And those of us who study culture and history are tasked to explain the many reasons why that is a horrible idea (again).
But maybe we need a different tactic, because as recent events in Virginia politics show, clearly some sort of education on whiteness is in order. Esquire magazine’s controversial and poorly timed profile this month headlined “The Life of an American Boy at 17” further hints at the entrenched perception that being truly American means being white.
We don’t need to honor a “white history” per se—we already emphasize it in our schools and on most national holidays throughout the rest of the year. But educating people about the invention of whiteness is something this country desperately needs. Both the titan of black studies, W.E.B. Du Bois, and the titan of black letters, James Baldwin, seemed to think so.
comments powered by Disqus
- ‘If You Want to Experience Liberation, Black Women Must Be at the Table’
- A Century After a Race Massacre, Tulsa Finally Digs for Suspected Mass Graves
- Historians Will Likely Rank Trump as One of the Worst Presidents
- Black Lives Matter Movement Prods Bethlehem and Other Districts to Review How History is Taught
- During the Civil War, the Enslaved Were Given an Especially Odious Job. The Pay Went to Their Owners.
- Is Evangelical Support for Trump a Contradiction?
- Survival Of The Kindest: Can Our Better Nature Help Us Build A Better World?
- As Monuments Tumble, Are We ‘Erasing’ History? Historians Say No
- Historical Association Schools Teachers on White House History
- MIT Professor Tunney Lee, an Architect, Urban Planner, and Historian of Chinatown, Dies at 88