What would ‘history’ look like without color?

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 19, 2005

We’ve heard it said that when a person loses the ability to see, for example, the other senses become keener as a way to compensate.

So after the loss of sight, maybe a person develops an incredible sense of smell or can hear subtle noises better than most.

It’s an interesting phenomenon and one from which we can learn a good deal — particularly when it comes to human prejudices.

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Why is that we make judgments about people so freely? Scientists might tell us that the reaction comes from centuries old mechanisms meant to help keep us safe. In other words, people or things that are different must be dangerous.

It’s flawed logic, as we all know logically that a book cannot be judged by its cover.

Imagine, for a moment, what the world would be like if we could not see with our eyes, but could only piece together images in our minds with clues from our other senses.

If we couldn’t see, would we still have racism? Would the concepts of black and white begin to lose meaning?

It’s an interesting thought.

This month is designated as Black History Month. It’s a month in which America celebrates the contributions of black Americans in fields as diverse as literature and medicine to music and science.

&uot;So why do we have a month dedicated to black history?&uot; a person might ask. The reason is to help our country as a whole better understand the many contributions of minorities.

Eventually, as time passes and hopefully our prejudices become less and less pronounced, perhaps we won’t need to designate a special month to help us celebrate black history. Perhaps at some point, American history will fully encompass the works of all races, colors and creeds.

Until that day comes, let's work hard to learn about the many contributions of black Americans — both nationally and here at home in Lawrence County. Black history is American history, no matter how you see it.