CNN Black History Month

Black History Month feedback

Thanks a lot for the Black History coverage. It has been very extensive and educational. What really strengthened me during this month about my heritage was the "Roots" miniseries. I watched it and it totally touched me and most important of all, it really depicted the strong will our ancestors had during those difficult days. The late Alex Haley ranks high as one of my role models (May his lovely soul rest in peace).

Adule Chris
Email : umadule@CCU.UManitoba.CA

Why not a Black History Month feedback? We already have: Miss Black America, Black Parenting, Ebony, Jet, Black Entertainment Network and many other black-only forums. I think that it's just more pandering and political correctness on the part of CNN and many others in the media. I don't see any other months dedicated to other cultures. Or the amount of forums, pageants and periodicals devoted to Black Americans. To say nothing of prime time television, movies, etc. Some of the greatest talents of today are black actors and actresses who set themselves apart as modern role models and examples of what really is possible in a multi-racial society like ours. Success and respect are EARNED, not GIVEN or demanded. Judge not by the color of the skin but by the content of the character. Martin Luther King won the NOBEL PEACE PRIZE in 1964. How many blacks realize what his true teachings were? He believed that violence was pointless and lacking in accomplishments.

Tom Knibbs
Email :

Black History month is a platform to increase the infusion of African-American history and culture into the American society with particular emphasis on elementary and secondary curriculums. There must be eternal vigilance as we struggle to ensure that African-Americans remain strong and in many cases develop the belief of the value of themselves. The majority community must also intellectually embrace the concept of African-American contributions to American society and the fact that the insidious institutions of slavery, Jim Crow, and institutional racism are joined through time and contribute to the ongoing damage of society greater than any affirmative action can heal.

Harold C. Shields
Email :

Thank you for your extensive coverage of Black History Month. It is through organizations such as yours that racial healing, respect and understanding will be realized. The USA and the world have a place to learn about the contributions of Black people. This is a great achievement by the world's foremost news organization.

Ken Croskey

Booker T. Washington has affected me the most due to his sacrificial attitude and his willingness to help the black race no matter what the cost. He pulled people up and taught them true leadership. A man among men.

James Harper
E-mail: or

Michael Jordan has contributed a lot to my determination. He showed that determination wins all. Black History Month says that without African-Americans we would not have many things.

Nick Cross

Thanks for the great section on Black History Month. I feel the greatest contribution that African-Americans have made to our culture is the only truly American music style, namely jazz. Jazz has made itself felt worldwide and continues to be a dominant force in our culture and our music education. Many of our nation's most known and beloved Afro-Americans, from Scott Joplin to Dizzy Gillespie, have been involved in the making and the shaping of America through jazz.

Steven Thompson

Without giving it a second thought, I would have to say that the most influential black people in my life have to be my parents. I say this with confidence and conviction, because without them, any contributions made by Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, or anyone else would be meaningless.

Growing up in the North and later in the South, I have seen them deal with different kinds of adversity. Watching them has had a great effect on me. My wife and I have no intention on having children, because this is not a world we think fair to force anyone else into. But if we did by accident, I would encourage them to look to my parents and my wife's parents as well.

Jack Bryce

Dr. King has inspired me to be what I am today. I feel that his contribution to society as a whole has been tremendous. I just wish that we all would try to learn from his philosophy.

Ken Aveirls

Malcolm X of course. This individual stands far above all Americans for his devastating ability to identify truth and then broadcast truth. Malcolm X demonstrated in his short but brilliant life the real face and nature of the USA The U.S. was, is and will always be a brutal racist and exploitive empire.


Although I could not say that Dr. Jocelyn Elders is the only African-American who has impacted my life, she certainly motivated me along with a packed Hill Auditorium at the University of Michigan when honoring the great Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King about a month ago. Her absolute concern for problems in this nation today were brilliantly displayed in her speech -- not only the ones that exist in the African-American community, but of the country in general. She spoke the truth about education, family values, and street crime, backing up her points with statistics. What a breath of fresh air to see someone speak her mind. It was a dynamic performance which was definitely worth my while.

Joseph W. Zogaib

Continued from my first message, I'd like to recommend that those interested in finding out more about Black history pick up two books, the first titled "The Black Book" and the second "Nile Valley Contributions to Civilization." These books have served as major contributors to my newfound awareness of African history and contributions. This is what Black History Month is all about and hopefully we can all extend our learning beyond this month and continue on the quest for knowledge about our great culture. These books have had a major impact on my life and showed me that we need to look at ANCIENT history to put all of what is going on today in perspective. With the facts in front of you and in print, you can free your mind of the lies and see that an abundance of information has been "borrowed" from our ancestors who were the first to do many things. From the Ten Commandments to the Washington Monument, I challenge everyone who reads this to read up and see where these concepts were "borrowed" from.

Damon C. Glenn

I am very pleased to see the information you are putting out on Black history. I would like to see it expanded and maintained on-line all year. I am going to post your daily listing at my job. Please continue to display this type of information. Also I would like to see information on current Black innovators and speeches they have made. Thank you.

Ken Taylor
E-mail: ktaylor@digex

There is no one specific historical contribution that I can name. From ancient Kemet (Egypt) to the present day, Africans have contributed much more than the average person realizes, and much more than what those in power are willing to admit. Our his/her story has been hidden and distorted and for 12-plus years we go through schools learning about the dominant culture and we learn nothing about the cultures of other peoples who have helped build this country we call America. My mother and my family have had the greatest impact on my life. I challenge everyone to learn more about our history. It has taken me 13+ years to realize that European history is not the only history.

Name: Damon C. Glenn

For me it's Jimmy Baldwin, author of some of the most powerful emotive prose in American literature. I devoured all his work over a two-year period some time ago and was strongly moved by his power to capture the emotional content of the experience of being a black American. My favorite story is "Sonny's Blues," but I recommend all his work.

This "Black History" month is very silly. This concept will not help this country come together any more than a "White" or "American Indian" history month. I wish CNN and other networks would promote (and) would devote more time and energy to the "melting pot concept."

Name: Dusty Prucha

As far as the most influential African-American on my life, I would have to say that person would be Sojourner Truth. Sojourner Truth was a remarkable woman who knew God. And through her faith and knowledge in God came to know her purpose and fulfilled her destiny. A highly bold and courageous woman, she allowed nothing to stop her from fulfilling her call in life. She was a very outstanding African-American, although with limited education, but with a willing heart she challenged this nation's racism and discrimination toward Blacks. Taking her fight all the way to the American judicial system. Making great historical change for a better future for all Americans. Yet, with all her great accomplishments it's very sad that such a great American goes fairly unnoticed in the American history books. Contributions in American history are still viewed only through European eyes. Until America recognizes the contributions of all great Americans in this country, she will never truly be Great.

Name: Dennis E. Lewis

This is probably going to sound silly, but as a musician I'd say that the African-descended person who meant and still does mean the most to me is the badly neglected and trivialized genius Scott Joplin. Everyone knows about his rags, but so few people know about his syncopated concert waltzes, his beautiful opera rendered in accurate Black English called "Treemonisha." His life is the life of someone who was so far ahead of his time in terms of talent and ambition. As an accomplished classically trained musician and composer, he was stuck in the late 1800s, at a time when a black man who wrote an opera was seen a charmingly inept for trying to imitate white people. The way that he was treated during his life was absolutely criminal, and the way that history has shunted him off as a composer of diverting ditties is disgusting. He is the finest native American composer ever -- a watershed talent whose musical vision was truly a child of the American black experience.

Name: Janis Cortese

This sort of information was not available to me as a student in elementary school in North Carolina. A lot of young African-Americans do not realize how many of their ancestors have died in order for them to attend school, ride the train or bus, vote, and stay and eat at many establishments. Individuals must know about their past in order to progress in the future. African-American males, in particular, need to understand that their ancestors were doctors, astronomers, mathematicians, scientists, etc., etc., and they can achieve if they believe in themselves. The youth of this world need guidance and the desire to "burn energy to earn".

Name: Robert Moore

My parents are the African-Americans who have most impacted my life. The Civil Rights movement leading to the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was the most significant historical contribution by African-Americans. The commitment to nonviolence in the face of senseless and cruel hate and brutality gives those African-Americans my vote.

Name: Phil Patrick
E-mail: Philip_Patrick-P26762@E-mail

I feel that my mother has been the most influential African-American in my life. The reason I choose her is because as a single parent, I watched her fight and struggle to raise myself and my little brother. She had to show a GREAT DEAL of strength in both obtaining her position at NASA and seeing to it that we received a well-rounded education. Because of her encouragement, I now have a chemistry degree and my little brother is a registered nurse. The most IMPORTANT thing of all is that she taught us the LOVE OF GOD!! As for the African-American who has made the most historical contribution, I would have to say Dr. Charles Drew. Without the work that he accomplished pertaining to blood, a lot of what is happening today might not be happening or would have been delayed even longer.

Name: Derrick Hill

Malcolm X had the most important impact on my life. He stopped us in our headlong rush for integration long enough for self-examination. He said if we respect ourselves and act honorably, others will naturally respect us. He taught me to correct my own behavior before attempting to correct others.

Name: Patricia D. Norman



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