Black Af History : The Un- Whitewashed Story Of America by Michael Harriot
View book: Black Af History : The Un- Whitewashed Story Of America
From renowned columnist and political commentator Michael Harriot comes a clever and uproarious reimagining of American history that sets the record straight and showcases the perspectives and realities of Black Americans.
America’s origin story has been distorted and whitewashed, deeply ingrained in our national memory. It is the tale of the Mayflower pilgrims forging a new nation, the cherry tree of George Washington, and Abraham Lincoln’s humble log cabin. It is also the fantastical narrative of enslaved individuals miraculously transporting themselves here, armed only with their physical strength and spirituals. These stories, although partially true, are wrapped in a sweetened legend.
It should come as no surprise that the prevailing narrative of American history is riddled with flaws and omissions. After all, history books were penned primarily by white men, reflecting their biases and perspectives. The devaluation and erasure of the Black experience can be considered a quintessential aspect of America’s identity, akin to its beloved apple pie.
In his book “Black AF History,” Michael Harriot presents a more accurate rendition of American history. Combining bold and captivating storytelling with meticulous research, Harriot examines primary sources as well as the invaluable contributions of Black historians, scholars, and journalists. He strips away the sugarcoating to reveal the pivotal role of Black individuals throughout American history. With sharp wit, Harriot fearlessly challenges oppressive power structures, reshaping conventional historical narratives by introducing lesser-known accounts of Black Americans’ experiences. From the earliest African American arrivals pre-dating 1619 to the audacious outlaw who inspired the establishment of America’s first police force, this long-overdue correction offers a compelling glimpse into our past, urgently needed and impossible to ignore.
For far too long, we have denied the fact that American history is, at its core, a white narrative. However, within the pages of “Black AF History,” a refreshing and accurate portrayal awaits. This is a history by and for the Black community, unapologetically reclaiming America’s story.
Un-Whitewashed America: Black AF History Exposed
The bestselling author of “Black AF History: The Unwhitewashed Story of America,” Michael Harriet, discusses his book and its success in a recent interview. Harriet expresses his gratitude to his audience, particularly the grassroots efforts of the Nubian and Karen Rebel communities who have supported his work. He reflects on the journey of becoming a bestseller, from his first book to landing on the New York Times bestseller list. Harriet acknowledges the surprise and joy he experienced upon receiving the call about his book’s success. He also discusses being categorized alongside renowned authors like Walter Isaacson and Aster and highlights the unique circumstances that have contributed to his book’s popularity compared to others.
Harriet shares his deliberate choice to focus on independent and black-owned bookstores for his book tour. He found that these bookstores were better equipped to handle the demand for his book, while some white-owned bookstores ran out of copies due to the unexpected popularity. Harriet attributes this to white people’s lack of awareness and anticipation of the book’s appeal to black readers. The interview delves into the topic of crime narratives and the fascination with criminal characters in media, linking it to Harriet’s exploration of America’s history of criminality and the foundation of the country. Harriet identifies that America was built on theft, invasion, and criminal enterprise, challenging the traditional narrative of the nation’s founding.
The conversation then shifts to the topic of knowledge and understanding between racial groups. Harriet argues that both white and black people lack knowledge about each other’s histories, highlighting the whitewashing of history and the omission of black perspectives in the education system. He emphasizes the importance of knowing the truth about America’s past and the economic advantages that white people gained through slavery and discrimination. Harriet posits that assimilation and adherence to societal standards will not erase racial disparities, pointing out the limitations and biases inherent in the education system and the broader society.
Harriet discusses the resistance to acknowledging the truth, suggesting that many people, regardless of race, are comfortable with the familiar narrative they have grown up with. He compares it to the Santa Claus myth, something that brings joy and validation but ignores uncomfortable truths. He further reflects on the pushback he has received for his work, including name-calling and threats, highlighting the discomfort such discussions bring. The interview concludes with an exploration of white resistance to change and the perpetuation of racist narratives, despite the harm they cause. Harriet questions why some individuals are holding onto a construct that aligns with oppression and argues for a reevaluation of society’s values and perspectives.