Friday, July 4, 2008

Magee, What is Black History?

The 4th of July is often a day for speeches. From Rhonda Magee, University of San Francisco, here is a speech delivered at San Francisco City Hall for Black History Month, just posted on SSRN, "What is Black History?" Here's the abstract:

Speech presented at City Hall, San Francisco, California, at the request of the San Francisco African American Historical and Cultural Society and the City of San Francisco in commemoration of Black History Month.

In this essay, Professor Magee answers the question, "What is Black history?" using personal narrative to illustrate that "Black" history is personal and human history, and that the ability to learn, grow, and change the course of history for the better is within all of us. Drawing upon her own experiences in the North American South as a child of effective integration in the aftermath of the Civil Rights Movement, she argues for the importance of making a commitment to developing a strong sense of self, and taking that inner strength and power into the world to work together as a community toward freedom, justice, to make Black history -- a category of experience which is, in the first and last, human history.