From the files of not normal: Black History Month edition

by Patty Templeton

News you need to knowThis might fall more aptly under the title of “From the Files of NOT OK.” Vice President Mike Pence acknowledged February being Black History Month via this tweet: “As #BlackHistoryMonth begins, we remember when Pres. Lincoln submitted the 13th Amendment, ending slavery, to the states #NationalFreedomDay”

Why this is not OKOn February 1, President Trump gave a Black History Month speech wherein he didn’t seem to know who abolitionist, orator, and writer Frederick Douglass was. Hours later, Pence celebrated a white man – Abraham Lincoln – for Black History Month.

When honoring the first Black History Week in 1975, President Gerald R. Ford said that the achievements of black people had “too long been obscured and unsung.” Over 40 years later, the contributions of black folks are still being passed over to recognize a paler face instead.

Pence had good intentions. Unfortunately, his tweet emphasized that he is unconsciously more interested in the white parts of American history than those contributed by people of color.

In honor of Black History Month and in support of personal growth, DGO issues Pence, Trump, and our readers a challenge: Read or watch something created by a black person every day in February.

This challenge was inspired by the essayist and fantasy writer K. Tempest Bradford. Her exact challenge is to, “Read something by a Black person that isn’t only about pre-Civil War American slavery, the Civil War, or the Civil Rights Era.” Because the lives and achievements of black people don’t stop at Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks.

If you need ideas, Bradford will be curating a growing list on her website,

Patty TempletonDGO Staff Writer


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