10 Feb 2014 Project 21 Members Say Politicized Black History Month Means “Good Accomplishment Overshadowed by Negativity”
Several members of the National Center’s Project 21 black leadership network spoke out against “Black History Month” negativity that is so prevalent in modern observances in a recent article published by the Press of Atlantic City.
Project 21 member Jimmie Hollis, a resident of southern New Jersey who attended the March of Washington over 50 years ago, said:
The many good accomplishments of black Americans over the years are overshadowed by negativity and emphasis on segregation, Jim Crow South and the difficult days of the push for civil rights.
Echoing a common observation among many Project 21 members that current black history programs tend to do more to segregate the races these days than unite people, Hollis added:
Black figures that have made strides to better themselves and contribute to society should be focused on and celebrated instead. And there should not be a Black History Month, but instead an American History Month.
Additionally, the article quoted Project 21 member Joe Hicks, the former executive director of the Greater Los Angeles chapter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference, who said:
Folks were still getting lynched when I was a kid. We’ve come a long way, and America has done a phenomenal job of moving forward… The time has come that it’s old and tired and shop-worn. It’s time to have some fresh conversations about these issues. At this time, we should be building a new narrative, and unfortunately, Jim Crow, segregation, institutional racism, that all gets trucked out for Black History Month.
To read the entire Press of Atlantic City article and watch an interview with Jimmie Hollis, click here.