“Not saying Quvenzhané’s name is an attempt, consciously or unconsciously, to step around and contain her blackness. Yes, sometimes black people have names that are difficult to pronounce. There aren’t many people of European descent named Shaniqua or Jamal. Names are as big a cultural marker as brown skin and kinky hair, and there’s long been backlash against both of those things (see: perms, skin bleaching creams, etc.). The insistence on not using Quvenzhané’s name is an extension of that “why aren’t you white?” backlash. It is easier to be colorblind, to simply turn a blind eye to the differences that have torn this nation apart for centuries than it is to wade through those choppy waters. And Quvenzhané’s very existence is enough to make the societal majority uncomfortable. She is talented, successful, beautiful, happy, loved, and adored–all things that many people don’t figure that little black girls with “black” names could, or should, be. Their answer? Let’s make her more palatable. If she insists on not fitting the mold of the ghetto hoodrat associated with women with “urban” names, let’s take her own urban name away from her. Refusing to learn how to pronounce Quvenzhané’s name says, pointedly, you are not worth the effort. The problem is not that she has an unpronounceable name, because she doesn’t. The problem is that white Hollywood, from Ryan Seacrest and his homies to the AP reporter who decided to call her “Annie” rather than her real name, doesn’t deem her as important as, say, Renee Zellwegger, or Zach Galifinakis, or Arnold Schwarzenegger, all of whom have names that are difficult to pronounce–but they manage. The message sent is this: you, young, black, female child, are not worth the time and energy it will take me to learn to spell and pronounce your name. You will be who and what I want you to be; you be be who and what makes me more comfortable. I will allow you to exist and acknowledge that existence, but only on my terms.”—Brokey McPoverty, “What’s In A Name? Kind Of A Lot,” PostBourgie 2/26/13
Do you realize how psychologically destructive it is to start the teaching of black history with slavery? This undoubtedly gives black children a low self esteem because now they only see their ancestors as a doomed people. Right away their morale is attacked, meanwhile fables of George Washington,Thomas Jefferson, Christopher Columbus, Abraham Lincoln largely dominate the classroom. Notable black historical figures such as Booker T. Washington, Marcus Garvey, W.E.B DuBois are virtually absent for the lessons and black history is minimized to Martin Luther King. Even Kings message is white washed to promote world wide unity and his criticism of White American is left out.
Despite the integration of schools it seems for the most part the lesson plan, one that focuses on the exaggeration of the forefathers still is segregated