Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Black History Month is for everyone

Culture can be defined as the total systematic way in which a group of people interacts with its immediate environment in order to survive. Culture is based on experience, which is in the past, in history.

Culture is a uniquely human phenomenon. Other mammals have a sense of society, of group identity, of a system of interacting with environment, but the human flavour is exponentially more advanced as a reflection of exponentially more developed intelligence.

Culture includes language, arts, music, dance, customs, law, philosophy, religion - only in the human are these as developed, as organized, as teachable.

Products of culture also include innovation and invention as groups interact with their immediate environments and build ships, bicycles, well as ideas, as people develop myriad ways to count (arithmetic, algebra...), communicate (language, grammar, jardon...), measure (relations and functions, calculus, sciences), think (philosophy), etc... As these innovations and inventions are made available to wider benefactors, all humanity shares the inheritance, all have a stake in the total legacy. We all ride on ships, in planes, we all use the zero...

As such, black history is simply about ensuring that the inheritance for all humanity bequeathed from the experiences of black people is available to all. Black people are people - as such, their experiences are a part of the sum total of human experience here on this blue planet. To destroy, obscure or deny the validity of the history of black people is to rob all humanity of part of its own total heritage.

The good of humanity reasonably requires that black history be esteemed equally beside all other group histories. Neither above nor below - but equally.

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