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Dec 15th 2005

Morgan Freeman on Black History Month

Morgan Freeman, one of the greatest actors of my lifetime (and one of my favorites), has some absolutely awesome comments regarding black history month and racism. They make me want to stand on this chair here in the library and scream, “Amen!”

Morgan Freeman says the concept of a month dedicated to black history is “ridiculous.”

“You’re going to relegate my history to a month?” the 68-year-old actor says in an interview on CBS’ 60 Minutes to air Sunday (7 p.m. ET). “I don’t want a black history month. Black history is American history.”

Freeman notes there is no “white history month,” and says the only way to get rid of racism is to “stop talking about it.”

The actor says he believes the labels “black” and “white” are an obstacle to beating racism.

“I am going to stop calling you a white man and I’m going to ask you to stop calling me a black man,” Freeman says.

As for “black history month”, I couldn’t agree more. I have often wondered why there was still this month dedicated to studying “black people”, like they weren’t part of American or world history.

And re: racism… I sometimes feel that I am all alone in the belief that beating the “racism” war drum only makes the issue stick around.

Good to know there are others who feel the same way.

9 Responses to “Morgan Freeman on Black History Month”

  1. Ryan

    That is so on.

  2. I laughed when I read Freeman’s comment that he doesn’t want his history relegated to a month: that nails it.

    I agree with Freeman’s general assesment and approach, but I don’t go so far as not identifying cultural or racial differences. A person can be identified as white or black without it meaning *gasp* anything other than that. One of the chapter titles of the book The Content of Our Character addresses the situation: “I’m white, you’re black, who’s guilty?” Generally it has become unsafe to identify mere harmless racial distinctions because our hyper-victim sensitive society very easily projects differences into negative spin, but again, ethnic distinctions can be neutral and positive. That they can be positive could seem to mean distinctions can also be negative, but they cannot. This is why: the usual attachments of negative attributes to race that are made by man are pure contrivances. In God’s eyes (and this argument cannot hold without such a religous or philisophical agreement on this) no man is less intelligent or wealthy than another. Wealth may surely be a hard measure we can make, but man invented money and God gives to all without price. And the entire supposition of measuring intelligence is profoundly arrogant, preposterous, and impossible. Who can measure the store of it? Who can say what of it is to be measured? Of course we must measure it by what arbitrary valuations we set – but for the ends and purposes of man, and not God. Any man’s store of knowledge and power is infinite because God always shines through the man in ways no man or devil can predict. And it is only devils who propose to measure one man against another. The light shineth in the darkness and the darkness comprehendeth it not. God gave knowledge and wealth and the freedom to pursue it to whatever degree to every man, and it is in this sense that “..all men are created equal.”

    Black, white, and all citizens of the United States are American, and far beyond that they are human, and that I think is the real point – every human has equal right and claim to respect, attention etc. – and is himself responsible for his Pursuit of Happiness..

  3. rere

    Morgan’s right, u r all crazy if u disagree

  4. One of the first things I noticed after moving to the USA, was how people would describe friends or relatives by skin color.

    “I can’t wait till you meet my friend Amy, she’s black.”
    or
    “My sister married this guy, Aaron, he’s black, and…”

    What the F—? I was shocked!
    I recently moved to Belgium where I have discovered people do the same. I don’t get it…

    I was born and raised in The Netherlands. Describing people by skin color or heritage is absolutely irrelevant to us. People wouldn’t so much be offended by it, not at all actually, but it just doesn’t occur to us that it is the very thing that could possibly describe, or worse, define who someone is.

    Though I do believe there is great value in history, in being aware of things that have shaped the world as it is today and giving honor where honor is due, I agree with Morgan Freeman. A man I too greatly admire. Not because of his skin color or ethnicity, but simply because he is who he is.

  5. Thomas

    Morgan Freeman for presedent!

  6. M.T. Goings

    What is needed is to simply teach an accurate inclusive,therefore truer history of all people.

  7. KIMBERLY WORMAN

    Morgan Freeman is correct! It should be American History. Period. But, until black leaders are recognized as much as white leaders, this can’t happen.

  8. Carolyn Bostick

    How can Black people come to know their being if we don’t begin to talk about it. White people have had their history taught in history books for the last 200 years that they have stolen the U.S. from the Indians. Everyone deserves a history and if Morgan Freeman believes that putting his head in the sand will make the history of his mother’s rape and father’s slaughter go away he is sadly mistaken. At this point in the black man’s stride to get any type of recognition is limited to actors and athletes. As we continue to salute the accomplishment of the black people, maybe we will be looked upon as “Clean”

  9. […] Lets stop talking about race and actually just live together.  It seems everything is fine until these “racial crusaders” start talking about it.  Booker T. Washington dedicated much of his life to “putting your head down and going to work.”  Seems that a century later, many still want to talk and legislate “equality” as they see it, into the culture. […]