It’s Black History Month, and it’s usually about this time in the month that people begin debating its relevance and writing impassioned columns about why black history is American history. You shake your head at this obvious connection, wondering what the hell the debate is all about. You grow weary of the supposition that Americans are negligently and willfully ignorant of the history and contributions of their fellow Americans. You defend your fellow Americans by saying there is broad ignorance about the history of American civilization in general in this grand republic. But then, only if you’d watched (or read about) a troubling Jeopardy episode from a year ago. If you’d heard that the students participating in College Jeopardy answered every category, ranging from “Weather Verbs” to “International Cinema Showcase” with confident aplomb, but hesitated, or better yet, were plumb scared of the “African American History” category. Then what would you think?
Presumably these students are the “best and brightest” of the lot. So what’s going on? Is it political correctness, bad schooling, major indifference? Do we need a hashtag called #blackhistorymatters?