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Have We Blacked Out Black People From History?

Tanvi Mishra

Posted on July 12, 2020 19:38

3 users

Absolutely.

A while back, someone asked me why I spoke so vehemently about the rights of black people. At the time, I didn't know. Yes, there was injustice, but why was I, as an individual, so pressed about it? After all, all races have experienced racism in one form or another. See, I realized something.

Black people are still suffering the consequences of their history in a way no other races are.

In that spirit, I'd like to acquaint you with some of the most important figures in my life, who happen to be people of color and deserve to be heard.

Alexandre Dumas is an absolute linchpin in literature; "The Count of Monte Cristo" is an incredibly important tale that is still taught today. But did you know his stories were inspired by his father?

Monsieur Thomas-Alexandre Dumas was a highly decorated military general, who was the highest-ranking black man to ever lead a European army. When the time came, however, Napoleon denied his pension, and young Alexandre Dumas pére was left fatherless at age three. The boy grew up, and wound beautiful tales of chivalry and honor; and this brilliant prowess also seeped into his son, Alexandre Dumas fils, who wrote "La Dame aux Camélias," which was turned into one of the world's most popular operas, La Traviata, by Giuseppe Verdi. To think of the times I've hummed "Libiamo" without realizing the importance of the opera.

On the subject of music, I absolutely have to mention Nina Simone. Denied proper education due to her race, Simone left her dream to be a concert pianist and instead started playing "the devil's music," the intoxicating cocktail piano. She covered an extremely wide range of genres, and even incorporated Bach's music into her work, melding her childhood dream of being a pianist together with her tunes. Nina Simone was also a civil rights activist. She sang about racial inequality, putting her famous voice to important use by highlighting the terrible treatment of her people.

In her own words, "I felt more alive then than I feel now because I was needed, and I could sing something to help my people."

Naturally, they are just a few out of many black people in history who contributed greatly to the world. I wonder how many great prodigies we'd have if black people were treated better in history. But how about how they're treated now?

All change begins with an individual's heart. Understand the pain and heritage an entire race of people have had, accept that historical events frame contemporary preconceptions, and reach out a hand to our brothers and sisters.

Black Lives Matter.

Tanvi Mishra

Posted on July 12, 2020 19:38

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Given Nike's labor history, maybe the company shouldn't be preaching about social justice.             

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