How Much Black History Did You Learn Last Month?

Confused Black ManIf the answer is “none,” go talk to a Black person older than 60. Maybe you “didn’t have time” last month, or you “already know everything,” but chances are that neither was/is the case. Learning history, though, is like starting to exercise: better late than never. Get moving.

If the answer is “a little,” I’m happy for you, but I challenge you to take time during the rest of the year to continually educate yourself on Black History and Black people’s contributions to this nation and our planet.

If the answer is “a lot,” then you did your people proud. There’s no sense in having a month to focus on something if you don’t focus on it. I challenge you to now teach some of that history to someone else.

One Love. One II.

Photo Credit: fotonomad2007 on flickr.

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About Garlin Gilchrist II

I am the City of Detroit's first ever Deputy Technology Director for Civic Community Engagement. My job is to open up the city's public data and information for the consumption and benefit of all Detroiters. I currently live in Detroit, my hometown, with my beautiful wife Ellen and our twins Garlin III and Emily Grace. I'm from Detroit. I created Detroit Diaspora, and was formerly the National Campaign Director at MoveOn.org. I also co-hosted The #WinReport on "The Good Fight," a an award winning, nationally syndicated radio show that was one of Apple's Best of 2013. After graduating with degrees in Computer Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Michigan, I became a Software Engineer at Microsoft. By day, I helped build SharePoint into the fastest growth product in the company's history. On my personal time, I sought out opportunities to connect my technical skills with community building efforts across the country. This led to my co-founding The SuperSpade: Black Thought at the Highest Level, a leading Black political blog. I served as Social Media Manager for the 2008 Obama campaign in Washington, and then became Director of New Media at the Center for Community Change. I spent two years creating and implementing a strategy for the Center to take it's 40 years of community organizing experience into the digital age. I speak before diverse audiences on effective & responsive government, empowerment in revolutionary new organizing spaces, increasing civic engagement & participation through emerging technologies and protecting civil rights in the age of the Internet. Full bio here.

3 responses to “How Much Black History Did You Learn Last Month?”

  1. steven m devougas says :

    Garlin,

    I applaud you. It is up to us to keep our history alive and relevant. For us who are well-versed in our history, it will take more effort and creativity to learn more about our contributions in this field. I like Garlin’s suggestion about talking to someone over 60. Also, try talking to people of African descent who are not from America. It was not until I was in college that I was exposed to the term “African Diaspora.” I was shocked at how different we really are and how much diversity we have in just our immediate community. Or talk to people who made contributions in your city or community. Local heroes are all around us and are often unsung. But this post will serve as a good starting point.

  2. dumi says :

    does watching “for the love of ray j” and “from g’s to gents” count? Nah really, I miss BHM already. I swear in the last 2 years the amount of Black history programming has gone down tremendously. In 2008, it was the “Barack History Month” were folks were so excited by his candidacy discussion and documentation of his run seemed to usurp other programming. This year, I just found it lacking…

  3. Garlin II says :

    Dumi,

    I feel the same way. Other than Black List on HBO, I thought the level and volume of TV Black History Month content was underwhelming.

    Can I be extra rosy and say that this is because we’re seeing more Black History-related content during other parts of the year? Or, should I be extra cynical and say that this is because that many in traditional media has gulped the “post-racial” kool-aid?

    If it’s the latter, there may be an Eliminate Black History Month movement in the works by 2012.

    One Love. One II.

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