ATR 61 – Do we need Black History Month? – 02/26/2007

Carmen is joined by guest co-host Mat Johnson in this episode. Born and raised in Philly, Mat Johnson grew up in the Germantown and Mount Airy sections of the city. As an adult, he has lived elsewhere. His first novel, Drop, was a B&N Discover Great New Writers selection. His second novel, Hunting in Harlem, won the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. He has written for a variety of publications, including a stint as a columnist for Time Out-NY. Mat Johnson currently teaches at Bard College. And his latest novel The Great Negro Plot, is out now in stores.

Mat will be doing readings in New York City and Washington D.C. on Wednesday and Thursday. Click here for more info.

On this episode, Mat and Carmen talk about Black History Month. What are some of the criticisms of Black History Month? Should we change the way the month is celebrated? Does it still serve a purpose?

This episode features the song “NV” by J. Dilla, courtesy of Spectre Entertainment Group.

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Duration – 45:44
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3 thoughts on “ATR 61 – Do we need Black History Month? – 02/26/2007”

  1. I think its really great that there are people who are thinking about the diversity of the schools that their children attend. My question is: what is the ideally diverse school?

    Elite private universities clearly dont have it right, considering the vast double standard applied to overachieving asian students. Merit based admissions bias against students in the many underequipped and undereducated education systems.
    Forcibly balancing schools to have equal proportions of all races will result in variations in academic standards. I think its sad, but we really need to be able to provide educational administrators something more concrete.

  2. Hi, Carmen.

    Yes, you pronounced my name right. Your comment name field doesn’t have room for the “rhymes with sketch” part.

    Anyway, that letter about black history month reminds me of a time my brother was foolish enough to ask a female classmate why they had women’s studies but not men’s studies. “Of course they have men’s studies,” she said. “It’s called ‘history.’”

    There’s already too much American history to fit it all into a standard educational curriculum, but leaving out everyone but the British and their descendants isn’t the answer.

  3. Anybody who thinks that we don’t need Black History Month has either been living in another dimension or in the state called denial. I am surprised that this is considered a legitimate question. I noticed that the negativity directed towards the month has increased in recent years. This year seemed to be very quiet. People who are interested in the truth know what an important contribution black people have made to both America and the world. It is sad that people seemed to be threatened by this.

    Daniel

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