HAMILTON: The “Price” of History Is Not Lost

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Willie Price With This Week in Black History IV Edition.


By: Ken Hamilton

Internet Movie Database (IMDb)’s plot summary of Black History: Lost, Stolen or Strayed says that the plot of the 1968 TV movie “… reviews the numerous contributions of African-Americans to the development of the United States. From the perspective of the turbulent late 1960s, the fact that their positive roles had not generally been taught as part of American history.” It is sometimes as if the movie was never made.

 But even so, as the basis of American history is largely a conglomeration of white-European history, it is a disservice to black children to not be facilitated in the unlimited study of their own roots, but subliminally to just focus on the slavery within the confines of America’s borders. Our fellow Americans of European extraction often dismiss the woes of African-Americans fixation on the effects of former servitude by citing that virtually every group of human beings had been subjected to such, but they fail to name a single ancestor of theirs who were so enslaved, or even unknown white masses who were subjected as such under the thumb of a black master.  

Little wonder why after 400-years on American soil, blacks are still at the bottom of the socioeconomic scale, and will remain so until they know, as European-Americans know, the geographic heights, depths, breadths and summation of their history here and abroad. There is a price, and African-American activist and author Willie A. Price has the answer.

Price was writing for the Buffalo Challenger back when I was writing for the Buffalo Criterion; but we had not yet then met each other. Earlier this week, he and I sat down for breakfast at Denny’s to discuss such issues.



 Price and I agreed that Martin Luther King was not the breadth, depth and summation of history for Americans of African descent. To make the historically pivotal King the central character in the eyes of ‘black’ children is – in words that former President George W. Bush might use – a misunderestimation of what has been poorly-labeled as “Black History.” As American and European history is intractably woven together so much so that they are literally one, the black child’s development is stunted by detachment from their roots in Africa; such roots that are distorted on the continent by the white commercialization of Tarzan and other “jungle” movies, and in America by the blaxploitationist of early movies like Birth of a Nation and mischaracterization of abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

 Price’s ambition in his so far 4-editions of his “This Week in Black History” workbooks is, “… to create a tool that each day the reader will learn something about Black History, and to do so in such a way that it creates conversations between both black children and white children so that children — especially black children – will realize that they can do anything that they make up their mind to do.”

 “Ultimately”, Price says, as does his workbook, “History is not what makes you. You are what makes history.”

 Price hopes to one day have his publications sold in places where youths with an interest in history may purchase it, such as in the Underground Railroad Interpretative Center at the Amtrak Station. But in the meantime, to order the book, drop a line to WillieAPrice@aol.com.


**attorney advertising**

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