Why do Canada, the UK and Ireland celebrate American history?

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As a Canadian I've always wondered why we and the British (and it would seem the Irish now) celebrate a part of American history, specifically black history. Our three nations have no black history, not to the degree that warrants special focus, and certainly not a month's worth. While there's an argument for certain groups that have been overlooked that deserve focus (natives and Asians in Canada, non-English in the UK, Irish Travellers in Ireland) given how Canada and the UK only began taking in a noteworthy (and even then still small) number of black (mostly Caribbean) immigrants in the late 1960s (with Canada having a short lived small black minority before and during the Civil War who pretty much all returned to the US after the war with a few exceptions), with Ireland only doing the same with in the past 20 years.

There's really nothing that can be celebrated with a black history month, and there's not enough black history between the three of us to stretch out into a single semester long course, so why are we playing follow the leader to celebrate history we don't have over overlooked minority history we do have? The contribution of the Chinese, Indians, Natives, Japanese, Vietnamese and Koreans are all in themselves greater to my country then those of black Canadians, yet none of them get any real focus outside of B.C. and Manitoba's education systems.

For the British it is about the colonies. The month was established after the action from an activist from British Gold Coast Ghana. Britain controlled quite a lot of Africa and thus had a lot of Black inhabitants in the Empire. And the British like to see themself as the center of a great Empire that allowed its colonies freedom but still has a lot of influence over them via the Commonwealth. It is far better than being a couple of small islands in the Atlantic slowly sliding into irrelevance.

Why you Canadians do it, i don't know.

England played a pretty major part in the African slave trade, so that's probably part of why the UK celebrates black history.

Well, we don't exactly do Black History month in the UK (afaik). We don't celebrate the American side of the whole thing. But given the UK took vast numbers of them out there, and given that large numbers of peeps from the Caribbean popped over in the 60's, it isn't exactly too much to expect that we recognise that shit happened in history.

Then again, school history was both vague and rushed and far too in detail about unimportant shit. Half a year spent studying the American Prohibition era (in a country where it had no impact). Everything before 1066 covered in about three lessons.

Zontar:
As a Canadian I've always wondered why we and the British (and it would seem the Irish now) celebrate a part of American history, specifically black history. Our three nations have no black history, not to the degree that warrants special focus, and certainly not a month's worth. While there's an argument for certain groups that have been overlooked that deserve focus (natives and Asians in Canada, non-English in the UK, Irish Travellers in Ireland) given how Canada and the UK only began taking in a noteworthy (and even then still small) number of black (mostly Caribbean) immigrants in the late 1960s (with Canada having a short lived small black minority before and during the Civil War who pretty much all returned to the US after the war with a few exceptions), with Ireland only doing the same with in the past 20 years.

There's really nothing that can be celebrated with a black history month, and there's not enough black history between the three of us to stretch out into a single semester long course, so why are we playing follow the leader to celebrate history we don't have over overlooked minority history we do have? The contribution of the Chinese, Indians, Natives, Japanese, Vietnamese and Koreans are all in themselves greater to my country then those of black Canadians, yet none of them get any real focus outside of B.C. and Manitoba's education systems.

Um...you know like...black people are in more places than the US. Why, there is a huge continent full of them even...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Africa

It's almost a decade since I did history at school so maybe things have changed since then, but we never did black history month at my British school. Though as Catnip noted we did seem to cover a lot of American history for some reason: Prohibition, the Great Depression and the Civil Rights movement all being covered in great detail. I always preferred learning about World War II and the Cold War myself.

Zontar:
There's really nothing that can be celebrated with a black history month, and there's not enough black history between the three of us to stretch out into a single semester long course

The UK has had a black history month since 1987 (held in October), but it tends to involve civic celebrations of black culture, and some schools - mostly primary - celebrate it with optional activities.

To the best of my knowledge, there is no mandatory black history month in the UK education system and no formal curriculum for one. My school - albeit many years ago now - certainly never had one whilst I was there.

Saelune:

Zontar:
As a Canadian I've always wondered why we and the British (and it would seem the Irish now) celebrate a part of American history, specifically black history. Our three nations have no black history, not to the degree that warrants special focus, and certainly not a month's worth. While there's an argument for certain groups that have been overlooked that deserve focus (natives and Asians in Canada, non-English in the UK, Irish Travellers in Ireland) given how Canada and the UK only began taking in a noteworthy (and even then still small) number of black (mostly Caribbean) immigrants in the late 1960s (with Canada having a short lived small black minority before and during the Civil War who pretty much all returned to the US after the war with a few exceptions), with Ireland only doing the same with in the past 20 years.

There's really nothing that can be celebrated with a black history month, and there's not enough black history between the three of us to stretch out into a single semester long course, so why are we playing follow the leader to celebrate history we don't have over overlooked minority history we do have? The contribution of the Chinese, Indians, Natives, Japanese, Vietnamese and Koreans are all in themselves greater to my country then those of black Canadians, yet none of them get any real focus outside of B.C. and Manitoba's education systems.

Um...you know like...black people are in more places than the US. Why, there is a huge continent full of them even...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Africa

Well that sounds like fake news.

/obviousjoke, can't help feel someone will believe me there these days if I don't tag it like that...

We do? First I've heard of it

*reads OP*

Oh...black history month? We do? First I've heard of it.

*reads thread*

Since 1987 you say? Maybe they need to advertise that shit better.

Zontar:
Our three nations have no black history, not to the degree that warrants special focus, and certainly not a month's worth.

I can't really speak for Canada or Ireland but the UK has plenty of black history. As much as the USA? No because we didn't build our country on the backs of slaves, but the British Empire spanned much of the globe (and actually included Canada, so yeah). And you know what? You don't make an empire that big without the involvement of Africans. In fact, non-American blacks actually served in both world wars. There's plenty to celebrate.

Put me in the 'British who never heard of Britain doing this' group.

History classes were mostly local history, one of the two world wars, Tudor England, Victorian England or Rome. I don't think we ever had a black history day/week/month, never learned anything about America other than the American War of Independence was a distraction from our war with France and that America is always late to every war, due mostly to the fact that they only wanted to fight when the war was basically won.

Geography class however, that was where we learned about other cultures. One teacher had a question on a test he gave us that was basically is it the white mans fault that Africa is poor? explain your reasons, and the teacher told us before and during the test that if we put anything other than yes it is entirely the white mans fault because of these reasons he would fail you[1]. That is the only time I can think of that any sort of black history was discussed at school.

[1] Due to the teacher going on about it so much and me disagreeing with being forced to write that I am human scum I put it was the African's fault for not being technologically advanced enough to win against us in a survival of the fittest sort of way[2].
[2] This lead to a discussion with my teacher about why survival of the fittest doesn't apply to humans as we aren't animals.

When I were a lad, history class might as well have been called The War. Then The Other War.

Dizchu:

Zontar:
Our three nations have no black history, not to the degree that warrants special focus, and certainly not a month's worth.

I can't really speak for Canada or Ireland but the UK has plenty of black history. As much as the USA? No because we didn't build our country on the backs of slaves, but the British Empire spanned much of the globe (and actually included Canada, so yeah). And you know what? You don't make an empire that big without the involvement of Africans. In fact, non-American blacks actually served in both world wars. There's plenty to celebrate.

Maybe it's a colonist point of view but when looking at the wider empire it's typically put under "foreign history that we cover a bit of" unless we're doing a higher education class specifically about the colonial era or something of it.

Baffle2:
When I were a lad, history class might as well have been called The War. Then The Other War.

Funny enough out here despite the massive contribution (including the most so on a per-capita basis) because of that part of our history education being gutted in the 90s (as a part of the push to create the myth of the Canadian Peacekeeper, which sadly worked since it's about as prevalent as any other myth with no historic basis) it's a part of our history we at best gloss over despite the fact they and the War of American Aggression where cornerstones in the forging of Canada's identity.

Zontar:
Our three nations have no black history.

Are you high?

image

evilthecat:

Zontar:
Our three nations have no black history.

Are you high?

image

Alright I get it, you Europeans look at your colonies as domestic instead of foreign history, for Canada and Ireland the point remains.

Zontar:

evilthecat:

Zontar:
Our three nations have no black history.

Are you high?

image

Alright I get it, you Europeans look at your colonies as domestic instead of foreign history, for Canada and Ireland the point remains.

Canada was a safe haven for escaped slaves from the american south after emancipation in the 1830s. Also, i assume they imported at least some slaves, being part of the british empire and all. It is a part of the history of colonialism and atlantic slavery, even if not as much as the US. Practically every country in the americas has some extent of black history, some more than others

Zontar:
Alright I get it, you Europeans look at your colonies as domestic instead of foreign history, for Canada and Ireland the point remains.

Thanks to our citizenship laws, we actually have a fairly decent Black population.
As for why we celebrate Black History Month, we're Irish, we look for excuses to celebrate everything XD

Besides, I remember that a friend of mine came up with a great way to describing Irish nationality: It's less of a nationality and more of a Virus.
Because so much of our lifestyle and culture is built around getting REALLY drunk, it's a lot easier for someone to become Irish then any other nationality.
Why else do you think everyone celebrates St. Patrick's day?

*Turns to reader. Yes, you there with the face*

You will be Assimilated...

Zontar:
Alright I get it, you Europeans look at your colonies as domestic instead of foreign history, for Canada and Ireland the point remains.

Right, but there is a reason we look at our colonies as domestic instead of foreign history, and that's because it's not possible to tell our history, the history of the metropole, without those transnational connections.

Think of ten things associated with British people. I guess one of those things will be tea. The thing is, tea doesn't grow in this country. Where, from a historical perspective, does the tea come from? How did it get here? What about the sugar to sweeten the tea.. It's not made from sugarbeet, is it? Where does it come from, how did it get here? What about the porcelain, or "china" as it's sometimes called in English, used to make the teacup itself. Where could that have come from I wonder? What about the spoon.. well, today it's probably made of stainless steel but that wasn't discovered until the 20th century. Until then, a proper English gentleman or lady of means would need a silver tea service.. but wait, there wasn't much silver mined in the British isles was there..

This is a silly little example. Imagine what an economic or political history of the British isles would look like if you missed out the transnational dimension.

And really, all history is like that. All history includes or is impacted by events which transcend the boundaries of a single modern country. The history of Ireland is a history of English (and later British occupation), it's the history of mass-migration to North America, the Carribean, Australia and other colonial regions to escape poverty and persecution, and of the global ties created by these transnational networks. Heck, Irish colonial slavery was a thing (a much overstated thing, but a thing). Through these historical ties, Ireland has a black history which may be meaningful and relevant to the lives of its black population (which is small, but demographically significant). If nothing else, as a former part of Britain it shares many of the same transnational links as the UK itself.

CyanCat47:

Canada was a safe haven for escaped slaves from the american south after emancipation in the 1830s.

While this is true, the actual numbers and impact is lower then most would expect and the folktale of it had more impact in the long run then the actual deed did.

Also, i assume they imported at least some slaves, being part of the british empire and all. It is a part of the history of colonialism and atlantic slavery, even if not as much as the US. Practically every country in the americas has some extent of black history, some more than others

Actually if we did have any slaves their numbers would have been too few to be worth noting. I can only remember those in New Brunswick but it was single digits. We never really had a need for slaves up here because the type of labour that slaves would be used for wasn't what our economy had before the Empire banned it, and the few slaves we did have where mostly natives.

Diablo1099:

Thanks to our citizenship laws, we actually have a fairly decent Black population.

According to Wiki the black population of Ireland is 1.4% of the population.

Besides, I remember that a friend of mine came up with a great way to describing Irish nationality: It's less of a nationality and more of a Virus.

You know I think I know what you mean. Saint Patrick's Day sure does infect us out here, even though most of us aren't Irish (though apparently we have as many Irish here as Ireland does).

evilthecat:
Snip

You know I kind of see your point there, but that still doesn't explain why Canada does it since we really don't have that much of a black history. Natives, Chinese, Indians, Japanese, Koreans, Vietnamese, these groups each individually had a larger impact on our history then black Canadians have, so say nothing of the fact that while Canada was founded on French, English, Scottish and Irish settlers, there's a surprisingly large overlooking of the Italians, Greeks, Ukrainians and especially Germans who assimilated so well most of the latter are more Monarchist then the former.

Wikipedia:

United Kingdom (1987)
Black History Month was first celebrated in the United Kingdom in 1987. It was organized through the leadership of Ghanaian analyst Akyaaba Addai-Sebo, who had served as a coordinator of special projects for the Greater London Council (GLC) and created a collaboration to get it underway.[15] It was first celebrated in London.[16]

Canada (1995)
In 1995, after a motion by politician Jean Augustine, representing the riding of Etobicoke-Lakeshore in Ontario, Canada's House of Commons officially recognized February as Black History Month and honored Black Canadians. In 2008, Senator Donald Oliver moved to have the Senate officially recognize Black History Month, which was unanimously approved.[7]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_History_Month

Bobular:
Put me in the 'British who never heard of Britain doing this' group.

History classes were mostly local history, one of the two world wars, Tudor England, Victorian England or Rome. I don't think we ever had a black history day/week/month, never learned anything about America other than the American War of Independence was a distraction from our war with France and that America is always late to every war, due mostly to the fact that they only wanted to fight when the war was basically won.

Geography class however, that was where we learned about other cultures. One teacher had a question on a test he gave us that was basically is it the white mans fault that Africa is poor? explain your reasons, and the teacher told us before and during the test that if we put anything other than yes it is entirely the white mans fault because of these reasons he would fail you[1]. That is the only time I can think of that any sort of black history was discussed at school.

What kind of secondary/high school did you go to? The slave trade has been part of KS3/GCSE curriculum long enough that you should have covered at least some of it.

[1] Due to the teacher going on about it so much and me disagreeing with being forced to write that I am human scum I put it was the African's fault for not being technologically advanced enough to win against us in a survival of the fittest sort of way[2].
[2] This lead to a discussion with my teacher about why survival of the fittest doesn't apply to humans as we aren't animals.

inmunitas:

Bobular:
Put me in the 'British who never heard of Britain doing this' group.

History classes were mostly local history, one of the two world wars, Tudor England, Victorian England or Rome. I don't think we ever had a black history day/week/month, never learned anything about America other than the American War of Independence was a distraction from our war with France and that America is always late to every war, due mostly to the fact that they only wanted to fight when the war was basically won.

Geography class however, that was where we learned about other cultures. One teacher had a question on a test he gave us that was basically is it the white mans fault that Africa is poor? explain your reasons, and the teacher told us before and during the test that if we put anything other than yes it is entirely the white mans fault because of these reasons he would fail you[1]. That is the only time I can think of that any sort of black history was discussed at school.

What kind of secondary/high school did you go to? The slave trade has been part of KS3/GCSE curriculum long enough that you should have covered at least some of it.

The kind that decided half way through my education to become a Modern Arts Collage. As a guy whose chosen subjects at GCSE included ICT, Science, Psychics, Chemistry, Biology, Maths, Further Maths[3] you can't understand just how upset I was that money was taken out of the budget for these classes and allocated so we could have more types of art classes, more drama classes, more modern language classes, more dance classes and start hairdressing classes. I almost didn't get to study ICT as they had cut that class down to just one class for the entire year and they only had space for a handful of people and as my last name is near the end of the alphabet I was chosen as one of the applicants for that class to cut[footnote]Until I went out and complained none stop that a guy who builds computers in his spare time was cut when the girl who doesn't know how to switch on the pc wasn't[footnote]. I think by the time we left secondary school I don't think we had any dedicated history teachers left, they were all teachers from other departments given a text book and told to teach basic history stuff. I also didn't take history at GCSE level, but from what my friends who did said it was more of the same, but now introducing the Russian side of WW2.

[1] Due to the teacher going on about it so much and me disagreeing with being forced to write that I am human scum I put it was the African's fault for not being technologically advanced enough to win against us in a survival of the fittest sort of way[2].
[2] This lead to a discussion with my teacher about why survival of the fittest doesn't apply to humans as we aren't animals.
[3] Or something like that, can't remember what the actual course was called

Bobular:

inmunitas:

Bobular:
Put me in the 'British who never heard of Britain doing this' group.

History classes were mostly local history, one of the two world wars, Tudor England, Victorian England or Rome. I don't think we ever had a black history day/week/month, never learned anything about America other than the American War of Independence was a distraction from our war with France and that America is always late to every war, due mostly to the fact that they only wanted to fight when the war was basically won.

Geography class however, that was where we learned about other cultures. One teacher had a question on a test he gave us that was basically is it the white mans fault that Africa is poor? explain your reasons, and the teacher told us before and during the test that if we put anything other than yes it is entirely the white mans fault because of these reasons he would fail you[1]. That is the only time I can think of that any sort of black history was discussed at school.

What kind of secondary/high school did you go to? The slave trade has been part of KS3/GCSE curriculum long enough that you should have covered at least some of it.

The kind that decided half way through my education to become a Modern Arts Collage. As a guy whose chosen subjects at GCSE included ICT, Science, Psychics, Chemistry, Biology, Maths, Further Maths[3] you can't understand just how upset I was that money was taken out of the budget for these classes and allocated so we could have more types of art classes, more drama classes, more modern language classes, more dance classes and start hairdressing classes. I almost didn't get to study ICT as they had cut that class down to just one class for the entire year and they only had space for a handful of people and as my last name is near the end of the alphabet I was chosen as one of the applicants for that class to cut[footnote]Until I went out and complained none stop that a guy who builds computers in his spare time was cut when the girl who doesn't know how to switch on the pc wasn't[footnote]. I think by the time we left secondary school I don't think we had any dedicated history teachers left, they were all teachers from other departments given a text book and told to teach basic history stuff. I also didn't take history at GCSE level, but from what my friends who did said it was more of the same, but now introducing the Russian side of WW2.

Ah, well that sucks. I'm fortunate that my secondary school didn't go in for that whole dedicated "college" thing until after I left.

[1] Due to the teacher going on about it so much and me disagreeing with being forced to write that I am human scum I put it was the African's fault for not being technologically advanced enough to win against us in a survival of the fittest sort of way[2].
[2] This lead to a discussion with my teacher about why survival of the fittest doesn't apply to humans as we aren't animals.
[3] Or something like that, can't remember what the actual course was called

Zontar:

Maybe it's a colonist point of view but when looking at the wider empire it's typically put under "foreign history that we cover a bit of" unless we're doing a higher education class specifically about the colonial era or something of it.

Using your logic, Americans can't be proud of anything their military has done in the 20th century because it all happened overseas.

At least from a western Canadian viewpoint, particularly at home in Alberta, I agree that we should have way more of a focus on Chinese, Japanese and so forth history. Given what they did for our provinces, especially for BC and Alberta, it really should be given more of a focus. The Canadian Pacific Railway got like a week in school, not really enough to cover everything that was done.

I would argue that Ukranian/German history isn't particularly needed as far as western Canada goes, mostly because they get covered really thoroughly when it comes the various waves of settlers, but I couldn't speak to eastern Canada at all on that matter.

Dizchu:

Zontar:

Maybe it's a colonist point of view but when looking at the wider empire it's typically put under "foreign history that we cover a bit of" unless we're doing a higher education class specifically about the colonial era or something of it.

Using your logic, Americans can't be proud of anything their military has done in the 20th century because it all happened overseas.

Does that mean we dont have to feel bad about anything overseas either?

EvilRoy:

I would argue that Ukranian/German history isn't particularly needed as far as western Canada goes, mostly because they get covered really thoroughly when it comes the various waves of settlers, but I couldn't speak to eastern Canada at all on that matter.

Well here in Quebec it's not really covered that thoroughly since most of them where just passing through on the way West. Most of our focus in lower education is on Quebec and Ontario from early settlement to the late industrial period, with a few random things intermixed from other nations (such as a week covering Italian and German unification and the different revolutions and wars in France) and almost at random a semester focusing on ancient Greek history and one focusing on Roman history.

I am Canadian, I have never heard anybody mention Black History Month, unless it is in regards to American politics

Reasonable Atheist:
I am Canadian, I have never heard anybody mention Black History Month, unless it is in regards to American politics

Out of curiosity, which province? Out here in Quebec we certainly try and push it every February.

Zontar:

Reasonable Atheist:
I am Canadian, I have never heard anybody mention Black History Month, unless it is in regards to American politics

Out of curiosity, which province? Out here in Quebec we certainly try and push it every February.

British Columbia. Currently I am sitting with my philipina girlfriend in Dennys waiting for my lumberjack slam. Looking around I see at Lots of asians, some brown people, and about half of everyone here is white. Maybe less then half. Zero black people.... wait! One black person!

Zontar:

Actually if we did have any slaves their numbers would have been too few to be worth noting. I can only remember those in New Brunswick but it was single digits. We never really had a need for slaves up here because the type of labour that slaves would be used for wasn't what our economy had before the Empire banned it, and the few slaves we did have where mostly natives.

You need to look a little further to the east. Nova Scotia has quite the Black history, and it's super dark as well. To really see it you do kinda have to dig for it since a lot of got buried by history, something Canada as a whole pretty much tried to hide. You pretty much need to look at the small towns and cities that are dotted all along the Nova Scotia coast to really see the full picture. Each port town has its own story.

TakeyB0y2:

Zontar:

Actually if we did have any slaves their numbers would have been too few to be worth noting. I can only remember those in New Brunswick but it was single digits. We never really had a need for slaves up here because the type of labour that slaves would be used for wasn't what our economy had before the Empire banned it, and the few slaves we did have where mostly natives.

You need to look a little further to the east. Nova Scotia has quite the Black history, and it's super dark as well. To really see it you do kinda have to dig for it since a lot of got buried by history, something Canada as a whole pretty much tried to hide. You pretty much need to look at the
small towns and cities that are dotted all along the Nova Scotia coast to really see the full picture. Each port town has its own story.

Odd, out here we literally take nothing and try and spin it as history since everything west of Sackville doesn't have any such history worth mentioning. With how the "we need to hate ourselves" types are you'd think that'd be what they focus on since any excuse to take a dump on Western society is a good one.

Zontar:

TakeyB0y2:

Zontar:

Actually if we did have any slaves their numbers would have been too few to be worth noting. I can only remember those in New Brunswick but it was single digits. We never really had a need for slaves up here because the type of labour that slaves would be used for wasn't what our economy had before the Empire banned it, and the few slaves we did have where mostly natives.

You need to look a little further to the east. Nova Scotia has quite the Black history, and it's super dark as well. To really see it you do kinda have to dig for it since a lot of got buried by history, something Canada as a whole pretty much tried to hide. You pretty much need to look at the
small towns and cities that are dotted all along the Nova Scotia coast to really see the full picture. Each port town has its own story.

Odd, out here we literally take nothing and try and spin it as history since everything west of Sackville doesn't have any such history worth mentioning. With how the "we need to hate ourselves" types are you'd think that'd be what they focus on since any excuse to take a dump on Western society is a good one.

Um... As far as i know, the vast majority of african americans live west of turkey (which has historically been used as a border between east and west) and african americans have been in the US for as long as any other non-native nationality in the US, so i do believe that black history month is a part of western civilization, considering how it focuses on the contributions of african-americans to the american culture

CyanCat47:

Zontar:

TakeyB0y2:

You need to look a little further to the east. Nova Scotia has quite the Black history, and it's super dark as well. To really see it you do kinda have to dig for it since a lot of got buried by history, something Canada as a whole pretty much tried to hide. You pretty much need to look at the
small towns and cities that are dotted all along the Nova Scotia coast to really see the full picture. Each port town has its own story.

Odd, out here we literally take nothing and try and spin it as history since everything west of Sackville doesn't have any such history worth mentioning. With how the "we need to hate ourselves" types are you'd think that'd be what they focus on since any excuse to take a dump on Western society is a good one.

Um... As far as i know, the vast majority of african americans live west of turkey (which has historically been used as a border between east and west) and african americans have been in the US for as long as any other non-native nationality in the US, so i do believe that black history month is a part of western civilization, considering how it focuses on the contributions of african-americans to the american culture

Using that logic Egyptian and Native history is a part of Western civilisation on the grounds of being geographically to the West of Turkey, and the middle east, India and far east are all Eastern civilisation on the same grounds.

Zontar:

CyanCat47:

Zontar:

Odd, out here we literally take nothing and try and spin it as history since everything west of Sackville doesn't have any such history worth mentioning. With how the "we need to hate ourselves" types are you'd think that'd be what they focus on since any excuse to take a dump on Western society is a good one.

Um... As far as i know, the vast majority of african americans live west of turkey (which has historically been used as a border between east and west) and african americans have been in the US for as long as any other non-native nationality in the US, so i do believe that black history month is a part of western civilization, considering how it focuses on the contributions of african-americans to the american culture

Using that logic Egyptian and Native history is a part of Western civilisation on the grounds of being geographically to the West of Turkey, and the middle east, India and far east are all Eastern civilisation on the same grounds.

I meant that mainly to adhere to the arbitrary designation of western civilization, which you brought up in the first place. Those who believe in the concept usually view ancient greece as the birth of western civilization and to the greek byzantines Istanbul was the "Gate between east and west. Also, the question stands: How are african americans not a part of western civilization when they live in what is designated as a part thereof as citizens of state who have contributed to its culture in meaningful ways? Jazz, R&B, Soul, Hip-hop have all defined modern music to such an extent that a world where they never existed the US and by extension large parts of the world would have a completely different musical culture. And native american history is also a part of US history. The constitution of Iriqois confederacy influenced the US constitution. If the history of western civilization is solely defined by the actions of white europeans then that history ended thousands of years ago. No one ethnicity, race or culture is responsible for how the world has developed on its own. If there is no persia there is no Alexander, if there is no Umayad spain there is no Karoligian empire

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