Black History According To Ben Carson

By Michael Harriot

A few days ago the sleepy-eyed, shuck-and-jive head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development gave a speech in which he called African slaves, “immigrants.”

While many people thought this was an egregious oversight, the staff of NegusWhoRead discovered this is part of a long trend of Carson whitewashing history.

Our investigative reporters have dug through the archives and unearthed a copy of a fourth-grade Black History report by Ben Carson that shows how he has mischaracterized the history of Africans in America. We now present an unedited version of Ben Carson’s social studies report entitled “My Black History.”

The first African immigrants arrived in America in Jamestown Virginia in 1619, on a luxury cruise ship. Searching for a better life, the dark-skinned brethren huddled in the passenger decks below board very close together and chained themselves to the floor so they wouldn’t be bothered by seasickness during the long journey some called “the middle passage.”

When the new residents arrived in America, they luckily found jobs working on all-inclusive cotton plantation resorts where they got lots of exercise, free meals and even the use of personal trainers they named “Massa.” The resort owners were even nice enough to build free housing for the immigrants.

During this time, some of the immigrants used their free time to compose music that we still enjoy today, like “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.” These new Africans were so important that they became the world’s first sports’ stars, and were traded to other plantations for draft picks and money.

Even still, some of them left these resort towns and went north, just to visit other places. One of the most important people of this time was Harriet Tubman, a train conductor who built one of the first subways, then called “The Underground Railroad.” Harriet Tubman’s tours would become so famous that she is now on the $20 bill.

Some people were so jealous about the resorts in the South that the country went to war, but even though it still has the most casualties of any war in American history, it was mostly friendly and very tame. That’s why they call it “The Civil War.”

After the South fought the civil war, many of the resort workers left the plantations. Because America was so grateful for their services, they enacted new legislation for them called “Jim Crow Laws.” Under Jim Crow, Blacks got their own water fountains, distinct neighborhoods, separate but equal schools and many of the states gave them the special privilege of not having to worry about going to vote in elections.

During this time a special welcome committee formed called the Ku Klux Klan. They went around to Black communities in their best white outfits and held special candle-lighting ceremonies for Black citizens. When they couldn’t find candles, they would build their own lower case, T-shaped candles and lit them on the people’s lawns.

The “t” stands for “thank you.”

Soon Black figures began to become more famous. Martin Luther King, a very well-spoken preacher started traveling around the country. His main job was telling people about his dreams, but his real passion was marching. Oh, how Martin loved to march! He became so popular that he organized one of the biggest marches ever in Washington DC, where people with a love for marching gathered and sang a lot of those old immigrant songs. Martin also marched in Montgomery, Al, where he and a woman named Rosa Parks started a campaign for people to get more exercise by walking to work instead of riding the buses. Rosa didn’t even want to sit in the special VIP section of the bus reserved for her.

Then one day, a group marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, AL. When State Troopers heard about this, they were very happy, and even waited on the other side of the bridge for the marchers and rewarded them with dogs and baseball bats. One man, John Lewis, even won a free brain exam during the march.

Speaking of John lewis, he was also a great American hero. Even though he loved to march, too, he also was one of the first “Freedom Riders,” who took a cross-country trip through the South with some of his friends. Encouraging crowds waited for him at every stop. Sometimes the crowds would get so enthusiastic they would hurt the freedom riders. There was also Malcolm the Tenth (or in Roman numerals, Malcom X) , and a group of friends who liked leather jackets and started free lunch programs. They called themselves the “Black Panthers.”

As time passed, Black people became more and more revered. Police would stop them just to meet them. Some would even offer them free necklaces that they hung from trees, mostly in the South.

Black people have played a very important role in American history, and we still do. Hopefully one day I can become a doctor and make history too. I can imagine a future where I find an old, orange, balding lunatic and work for him as his only black friend. I know it sounds crazy, but maybe I’ll run for president and tell my story about dick-stabbing and stopping robberies in Church’s chicken. Like Martin, I had a dream that I would one day do something I was utterly unqualified for, and answer only to a tangerine with a toupee that lives in the White House/

I know it sounds bizarre, but, you never know…

The End



About the author

Michael Harriot is a renowned spoken word poet, the host of The Black One podcast and the editor-in-chief of NegusWhoRead. He is perpetually just getting warmed up because he has no chill. He is on Instagram and twitter as @michaelharriot

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