Thursday, February 25, 2016

LITTLE BLACK SAMBO

ON A MORE PERSONAL NOTE CONCERNING BLACK HISTORY MONTH



When I was four years old this was one of my favorite books. It was a controversial book, though at the age of four I didn’t know it.
As I read it, I could look out across my backyard and across the field beyond, and see where they were building Loop 820 in 1961. Loop 820 now circles Fort Worth Texas. 
And just on the other side of Loop 820, I could see they were building a High School, Richland High School, where I would have attended had I not moved to Detroit in 1963.
Richland High School, where at the height of the Civil Rights movement, and the country still trying to understand Brown vs Board of Education, would choose a Confederate Rebel as its mascot, and the Confederate Battle Flag as its colors.
Was that a political statement, or just some coincidence, an ill-timed expression of southern heritage and pride? Or was it meant as a "STAY OUT" sign for blacks in white suburbia in 1961?

That’s the great thing about history though. It not only repeats itself, it tends to correct its wrongs as well, and in 1993 the students of Richland High School spearheaded a movement to remove the flag as an emblem of the school.
Some students said they felt uncomfortable waving the flags at football games, pep rallies and other sporting events, especially when they were the visiting team. Members of the pep squad approached the principal to make a change.
A school-wide vote was held, and the flag was removed from representing Richland High School.
Its a very interesting issue, one that continues to divide the country.
my own feeling is that I would like to give those pep squad members that went to the principal a big hug.

By the way, my copy of Little Black Samco goes for 200 bucks on Ebay.

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