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American History 2.0

By: Andre' Jackson, AJAX

Black Wall Street burned to the ground. Getty Images

This year- 2021 marks the 100-year anniversary of the horrific bombing and subsequent disenfranchisement of thousands of black people in Tulsa, Oklahoma. No doubt by now most of us know at least something of the events surrounding the destruction of ‘Black Wall Street’. But what we may not automatically associate is the subliminal message that event and others like it (there have been many over the years) have on the collective mind-set of Black People. Think of it this way. Any other and every other immigrant group that has come to the Americas has done so with an understanding of a past societal order that provided for itself and could be sustained in one way or another, to some degree. But as Black people, those possibilities were stolen from us for all time via the unspeakable horror and cruelties of chattel slavery. And even with the ending of that evil institution, and throughout one aborted attempt after another to achieve total freedom: thru Reconstruction, and The KKK, Jim Crow, The Civil Rights Era etc., all the while, there remained the constant and repeated senseless intimidation tactics at the hands of various underground white supremist groups and the ever present antagonism in the form of police departments, The FBI, and the courts sanctioning ungodly behavior targeted against us and it has just been too much to bear.

All this and the guardians of this so-called democracy insist that no form of reparation is either in order or needed to help assist a people so totally broken down by way of the over more than four hundred years of uncompensated personal and individual industry. How then does such a people become thoroughly acclimated into the American fabric? On the one-hand, they say- ‘assimilate’ into the mainstream, and then on the other turn around and do everything they can to try and prevent that from ever happening. They say ‘pull yourselves up by your own boot-straps’, and when we do, some part of the establishment acts to blow it up… literally, and in every way possible.

And now more recently it is becoming taboo to even talk about the various affronts or to even recount the many injuries visited on and suffered by our people. The revisionist history that almost completely writes us out of so many achievements is best they say to help heal the wounds that the truth would only exacerbate. And so now in state after state, bills are being introduced in state houses to limit or totally eliminate intellectual review and analysis of the effect of institutional racism in these Americas. Now efforts like ‘The 1619 Project’ and CRT- Critical Race Theory are being demonized as something less than constructive and they want no part of them.

I say call them what you want, but in the end, truth can only help illuminate this and future generations toward ‘A More Perfect Union’ going forward. And if those very official and catchy titles tend to keep the offenders up at night, that malady is a discomfort for them to salve. And meanwhile to my thinking, either of these works could just as well carry an as appropriate subtitle: American History 2.0. Then watch them squirm in a whole new way.

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