As the saying goes, you don’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you come from. And for many Black people, especially during Black History Month, those words prove to be so true when presented with some related trivia.
Kazeem Famuyide, a 30-year-old sports journalist from New York City, likely represents a good percentage of Black America when it comes to knowing intricate details about figures from Black history.
While not knowing, say, which medical procedure was introduced to the colonies by a slave (spoiler: the answer is inoculation) is not necessarily an indication of intelligence or ignorance, it is an example of some of the topics that seem to be glossed over, if addressed at all, in America’s education system.
It also underscores the importance of teaching Black history, period; not just for 28 days but all year long, especially for Black people who many times have been denied the right to learn about their ancestry while in school until the collegiate level.
After Famuyide had an easy question lobbed at him – where ESPN’s Stuart Scott, who inspired him to be a sports journalist, broadcasted live from during the Iraq War (Kuwait) – the questions got a bit more complicated.
The quiz given to Famuyide by NewsOne was multiple choice, which increased his chances of answering correctly. Without those options, though, chances are that he, like much of the general public, would be clueless about which cartoon character was originally based on an African-American woman. (Watch the vide for the answer.)
In a way, it’s ironic that Famuyide chose to work in the media as his profession, considering the severe lack of representation of Black people in and by the media that continues to this day.
“TV messed me up,” Famuyide said jokingly as an excuse for not knowing that one in four cowboys in the Old West were Black. “I thought all cowboys were White.”