America's Most Smartest Model

So the obvious play on grammar in the title is cute, but why is American and well everyone obsessed with watching people be stupid? Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader is cool, AMST is entertaining but extremely sad to watch. At least Beauty and the Geek has Geeks..this just has one smart guy who has a graduate degree already, and the redeeming black guy. You can check out the casting special on VH1 and its also one of ITunes free downloads of the week. Why oh why did the black man not know who fought in the Civil War or what The Emancipation Proclamation was? Luckily they showed another black man later on to salvage the race, but this was straight foolishness. I'm not sure what statement was being made by including that portion in the casting special, but it sure should be a wake up call.

The Sankofa bird is a bird that flies with its head looking backwards. It's imagery is symbolic of the familiar quote "a people who do not know their history cannot know where they are going." No, the one man on the show is not all black people in America, but it is important for the entire nation to be aware of that part of history. The hundred years following the Emancipation Proclamation was one of the most turbulent times in American history. While there was the Gilded Age and the Roaring Twenties, a lot more of the period was spent in nationwide distress. During that time, the memory of the Emancipation Proclamation and the Civil War was so important to the nation, and it is continuously used as a bartering tool for rights and privileges in the nation. Martin Luther King used it in his speech at the Abraham Lincoln Memorial where he had a dream, the Million Man March used the memory of Lincoln and recently Barack Obama launched his campaign in Lincoln's hometown and penned a nice little piece in Time magazine called "Through Lincoln's Eyes." It was never about blacks truly loving Lincoln, but more about understanding his importance to national memory and how to use that memory to achieve equality.

7 score and 4 years after the U.S.A. was founded, this is still a major part of who we are. For someone of color to be blatantly ignorant of this on national tv (basic cable may as well be national), and for VH1 to decide to air it, does not show progress, but rather regression.

Go read some David Blight and Lerone Bennett Jr.


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