By Andrew Scot Bolsinger
February’s focus on Black History may not be reaching the average person on the street, at least not those interviewed by MTV2 television host Charlamagne.
Charlamagne took to the streets to interview blacks about basic black history. He held up photos of Michelle Obama, Malcolm X and Rosa Park among others and asked people to identify them. Many in the clip couldn’t identify the person in the photo.
One man was stumped at pictures of Rosa Parks, calling her a “Spanish lady,” and Malcolm X, whom he said was “the original Tookie Williams.”
“Have you ever met black people,” Charlamagne asked him.
It seemed more people successfully identified movie producer and actor, Tyler Perry.
“Why everybody know Tyler Perry but you don’t know Rosa Parks?” Charlamagne asked.
The results were less funny to Madam Noire writer Wrote Victoria Uvamarogie.
“I’m always disappointed when I see videos like this that show how little people know in general about black history and how little it also seems they care about it. It’s especially disappointing when these people just so happen to be black. What’s funny about confusing Condoleezza Rice with Michelle Obama?” Uvamarogie wrote.
Black History Month first started being recognized in 1926 under the name “Negro History Week.” Dr. Carter G. Woodson, a Harvard graduate grew disconcerted about how distorted and absent from American history books were at the time. He established the Study of Negro Life and History in 1915. A year later, he founded the Journal of Negro History. In 1926, he launched Negro History Week to bring national attention to the contributions of black people throughout American history.
Andrew Scot Bolsinger won more than two dozen press awards during his journalism career. He is a freelance writer, author and operates www.criminalu.co, which is focused on prison reform. He can reached at Andrew.Bolsinger@gmail.com