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Morgan Freeman Criticizes Black History Month


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NEW YORK -

Morgan Freeman says the concept of a month dedicated to black history is "ridiculous."

 

"You're going to relegate my history to a month?" the 68-year-old actor says in an interview on CBS' "60 Minutes" to air Sunday (7 p.m. EST). "I don't want a black history month. Black history is American history."

 

Black History Month has roots in historian Carter G. Woodson's Negro History Week, which he designated in 1926 as the second week in February to mark the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.

 

Woodson said he hoped the week could one day be eliminated — when black history would become fundamental to American history.

 

Freeman notes there is no "white history month," and says the only way to get rid of racism is to "stop talking about it."

 

The actor says he believes the labels "black" and "white" are an obstacle to beating racism.

 

"I am going to stop calling you a white man and I'm going to ask you to stop calling me a black man," Freeman says.

 

Freeman received Oscar nominations for his roles in 1987's "Street Smart," 1989's "Driving Miss Daisy" and 1994's "The Shawshank Redemption." He finally won earlier this year for "Million Dollar Baby."

 

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051215/ap_en_..._morgan_freeman

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He's done a couple of interesting interviews like this. It's rare you ever hear him speak period. But, I think 60 Minutes did one on him awhile ago and he was quietly outspoken. They probably went back trying to get more material because he says some things that can be taken as controversial until you hear the actual reasoning behind it.

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Freeman notes there is no "white history month," and says the only way to get rid of racism is to "stop talking about it."

 

I'd give him an oscar just for that. Hit the nail square on the head.

 

exactly. and since the beginnings of black history month, we have also seen the rise of women's history month and latino history month.

 

why?

 

just recognize it as American history and teach it as such and you are fine...i blame many history teachers on this, well actually I guess I should blame many history textbook writers for this...cause as we know history is hte marginalized subject always taught by the coach who has no clue.

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I definitely agree with him on the whole Black History Month. We shouldn't have to set aside a month to recognize black history. It should be something worth thinking about every month.

 

But as far as no longer referring to people as black or white, there's only so far we can go. Skin color just happens to be an easy descriptive characteristic, and one that is impossible to ignore. I don't think we should refer to Morgan Freeman as a black actor, but he is a black man. He just is. I think rather than burying the terms black and white altogether, true progress will have been made when we can call someone black without having to look over our shoulders to see who's listening.

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For the record, he deserved an Oscar for Shawshank.

 

 

That was a hell of a year for movies: Pulp Fiction, Shawshank, Forrest Gump...damn stupid that Freeman was nominated as a leading actor and had to go up against Tom Hanks.

 

And, I agree completely with Freeman, to designate a month as a "history awareness" month simply exacerbates the schism of racism.

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Freeman notes there is no "white history month," and says the only way to get rid of racism is to "stop talking about it."

 

The actor says he believes the labels "black" and "white" are an obstacle to beating racism.

 

"I am going to stop calling you a white man and I'm going to ask you to stop calling me a black man," Freeman says.

 

 

 

 

 

Glad someone said it.

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I always thought Black History Month was retarded. I remember back in school how ignorant it seemed.

 

"Ok class, we're going to take a month off from normal studies to teach you about what black people have done for society."

 

"What!? We can't learn about their contributions as the come like we do with everthing else?"

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Well, it made sense in the beginning to force-feed black history into the curriculum so that teachers would actually TEACH black history. But, I agree, it's the fault of whoever makes high school history books not to include that stuff in with the rest of it.

 

Also, most of those high school and grade school teachers who teach black history don't know anymore about it than you or I did when we first learned it. Outside of the guy who invented the peanut, the Civil War and some light-light-LIGHT Civil Rights movement I can't recall much.

 

You rarely get anything outside of that.

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just recognize it as American history and teach it as such and you are fine...i blame many history teachers on this, well actually I guess I should blame many history textbook writers for this...cause as we know history is hte marginalized subject always taught by the coach who has no clue.

 

EXACTLY.

 

I know a lot of you don't like to read. No biggy. With that said, if you ever want to read an eye opening book check out "Lies My Teacher Told Me : Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong" by James W. Loewen. I'm telling you, this book does a FANTASTIC job of beating you over the head with historical inaccuracies. I would love to see this book turned into a volume of books correcting our educational system.

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Guest marlins02

ive actually decided to try to get certified as a teacher after i graduate from FIU. gonna do the education equivalent of a minor by taking some classes adn then when im out gonna take the certification test, im thinking social studies.

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You can not even get certified in NYS unless you have a masters. Then, you need a certain number of observed teaching hours [6 months I believe] in addition to passing all of the certification exams [three] and have no misdemeanors. NYS is actually trying to make it HARDER to become a teacher including requiring a skills test every five years.

 

I guess that as a parent, I would be glad to see the teaching standards set so high. As someone with friends going in to teaching, I hear a lot of complaints about how difficult it is to become a teacher in the first place and then how little control you have over your curriculum. Basically, you end up teaching your kids everything they need to pass a state exam rather than having any freedom to teach anything in-depth.

 

I thought it would be ?fun? to teach a couple of courses each year, but it is way to difficult and political to actually be feasible.

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just recognize it as American history and teach it as such and you are fine...i blame many history teachers on this, well actually I guess I should blame many history textbook writers for this...cause as we know history is hte marginalized subject always taught by the coach who has no clue.

 

EXACTLY.

 

I know a lot of you don't like to read. No biggy. With that said, if you ever want to read an eye opening book check out "Lies My Teacher Told Me : Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong" by James W. Loewen. I'm telling you, this book does a FANTASTIC job of beating you over the head with historical inaccuracies. I would love to see this book turned into a volume of books correcting our educational system.

 

Thanks for the recommendation. I'll try and pick this up before I have to go back to college and continue reading really crappy contemporary philosophy.

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