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"Where liberty is, there is my country." - Benjamin Franklin
Curated by Michael Miller
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The long and ugly tradition of treating Africa as a dirty, diseased place

The long and ugly tradition of treating Africa as a dirty, diseased place | HMHS History | Scoop.it
How alarmist, racist coverage of Ebola makes things worse. A dressing down of the latest #NewsweekFail.

Via Seth Dixon
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Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, April 9, 2015 2:21 PM

Before I even read the article, my first thought went to the Linneaus classification.  That really damaged history with this one chart.  I think people still think of Africans and blacks(very dark blacks) as dirty or unintelligent.  Which is horrible and couldn't be further from the truth.  Misinforming the public is criminal.  News media and social media need to be careful and educate properly.  I've been asked from a customs offical, "Have you been to Africa in the past 6 months?"  Which is a very blanket question because Africa is a continent.  There were areas that were not hit with Ebola.  

Chris Costa's curator insight, October 27, 2015 4:37 PM

Those who deny the continued influence of racism in our society are blinding themselves to the truth. Contemporary influences of the racism that plagued the preceding centuries are still found in most major media depictions of Africa. The Ebola epidemic has served to highlight the bigotry that plagues Western media, as the assumption that all of Africa is diseased and dirty is continuously perpetuated (when, in reality, Ebola only affected a very small part of the continent). Africa is presented as "other," a backwards continent that is in desperate need of Western help and guidance- in what was is that different from the European colonizers who also viewed their actions as benevolent attempts to "civilize" the uncivilized? That mindset has not left Western circles, and yet we continue to pat ourselves on the back and congratulate ourselves for suddenly being so tolerant. The insensitivity of Western audiences to the concerns of black individuals both at home and in Africa related to the prevalence of racism highlights how determined mainstream media is to deny the existence of a problem. Until we recognize the Eurocentrism that continues to plague our media and make the necessary moves to correct the practice, harmful depictions of Africa will continue to loom large in Western media and in the opinions of many Europeans and Americans alike.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 30, 2015 7:12 AM

Africa has long been treated by the western media as a dark , brutish, uncivilized place. Africa is a place were people starve and murder each other in large numbers. There is so much more to Africa than the picture I just described. The problem is, many people just do not accept the existence of a culturally complex Africa. That narrative would destroy the traditional  darker narrative of the past 500 years. A narrative grounded in the beliefs that blacks are inherently inferior beings. During the Ebola crises, the calls to cut off travel to Africa were quick and demanding. Had the crises been in England, would those same calls have been so loud? I think we all can guess the answer  to that question. Much progress has been made, but we still need to change our cultural depiction of Africa.

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Why We Celebrate Martin Luther King Day

Why We Celebrate Martin Luther King Day | HMHS History | Scoop.it

"Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once stated,"A man who won't die for something is not fit to live." Arrested over twenty times, stabbed in the chest, his house firebombed and, ultimately shot and killed, King embodied the idea that equality and the African American Civil Rights Movement were worth dying for.He was a husband and father to four children as persecution and death threats filled his days, yet his example was one of nonviolent, civil disobedience.Had he not been assassinated, King would have celebrated his 85th birthday on January 15th."


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Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, January 29, 2014 11:16 PM

Martin Luther King Jr. is an iconic figure in American history. A man that will be remembered forever, as he overcame so much adversity and risked his life on a daily basis for the greater good of America. After being arrested multiple times, injured and threatened, most people would have given up, but not him. He is one who never gave up on his dreams and proves that anything is possible.  

Jess Deady's curator insight, April 16, 2014 1:27 PM

We celebrate Martin Luther King JR because he was a man of pride. In history, those who are remembered did something great most likely. He was an activist for the Civil Rights movement and had a dream that one day the world would treat everyone as equals. He was assassinated and unfortunately that is another reason we celebrate and honor his life.

Alyssa Dorr's curator insight, December 16, 2014 11:40 PM

This article wouldn't open when I clicked on it. It said I had to sign into some website that I have never used so I couldn't access this article. So I'm basically winging this one and making it an opinion scoop. I think that celebrating Martin Luther King Day is very important. Not only did he do all he could to make the blacks be treated equally, but he went through hell trying to do it. He was tortured by people in the town and his house was even set on fire. This is just as important as the Rosa Parks incident and the Brown V.S. Board of Education. We celebrate this day to remind us about how he died trying to set things right and have everyone be treated equally. We also celebrate this day to continue his love and peace in this world. Because of Martin Luther King Jr., we now can all live, work, and be a part of the same community, whether you are black or white.