I was attracted to the following video for several reasons. First, YouTube’s lead-in tag implied that knowledge of Black History was as important for white people just as it was for blacks.
Second, the line had meaning because of something that happened last week in a Facebook group where I’d been posting lead-ins to my CGS Black History Month stories. The main administrator of that site notified me that several members had complained about my posts and told me, I had been forewarned.
I don’t know what I was being forewarned of, were they telling me to watch my front door for white hooded night riders? Or was it something so unimportant as being warned that I might be barred from the site?
Lastly, I think this video is especially important because it does not feature an American speaker. The presenter is British, he is black, and he is talking about the black experience in the UK rather than the US. You see, the experiences aren’t that different. The preconceptions that white Europeans and their descendants have of black Africans are pretty much the same as those held by white Americans. When the presenter speaks of the dark continent’s residents traveling through the jungles on vines and being led by a white Tarzan, it’s a concept every white person can relate to.
Beginning in my junior year of college I took a series of courses on African History and the first course began with a lengthy section on white concepts of black Africa and it was identical to everything I learned about Africa from watching Hollywood productions.