February 10, 2023

Black History is World History

Happy Black History Month!

Written by Angela Fobbs
Wiesbaden-Mainz Chapter Chair
and Global Black Caucus Founder


Black history is world history. Yes, that's correct! Black history is an integral part of world history and has significantly shaped our world today. The experiences and contributions of black people have been central to many of the most important events, movements, and cultural achievements throughout history.

From the early civilizations of Africa to the slave trade to the modern era of globalization, black people have made significant contributions in a wide range of fields, including politics, the arts, science, and technology. The history of black people is not just a story of oppression and struggle but also resilience, creativity, and triumph.

274713498_495087631987567_4674803527909419801_n.jpgBy recognizing and celebrating black history, we can gain a deeper understanding of the world and the events that have shaped it. This includes recognizing the contributions of black people to the development of science, art, and culture, as well as understanding the challenges that black people have faced and continue to face in their pursuit of equality and justice.

We also need to think about how we got to where we are today and how we can move past our problems. We do not need to fear or protect people from our history. It is our shared past; if we want the future to be different, we must learn what happened and make other choices.

Fascists are currently obsessed with people and institutions being "woke." The term has been co-opted by some people with opposing views, who use it to criticize or mock those who are seen as overly politically correct or sensitive. In these contexts, "wokeness" is often portrayed as a harmful phenomenon that stifles free speech and individual expression. However, the opposite of woke is asleep, which is what they want. They want to hurt people they see as different or undeserving, and no one lifts a finger to object or to help them. We should all remember the words of Pastor Martin Niemöll because if we don't come together and stop the forces of authoritarian hate, there will not be anyone to come for us.

169498034_10165798291950393_3086878623120264066_n.pngMany of humanity's problems stem from our need to know who we are as humans and what that means. Through understanding, we can change how we think and our choices and motivate us to make positive changes in the world. It's also important to recognize that many of the challenges faced by humanity are not simply the result of a lack of knowledge but are also the result of more systemic and structural issues, such as economic inequality, political corruption, and environmental degradation. Addressing these issues requires a deeper understanding of not just who we are as individuals but also the broader social, political, and economic systems that shape our world.

My most sincere wish is that we all gain knowledge and understanding so we can fight the repressive and hateful Fascists that are working to destroy our country, our world, and our future. As the Reverend Martin Luther King said in his "Letter from Birmingham Jail ": "Shallow understanding from people of goodwill is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection." 

Below are two books and documentaries that have changed my perspective on race and our history, and I hope they will also change your perspective. Be sure to check out the bonus material for further information.


The Myth of Race: The Troubling Persistence of an Unscientific Idea is a book by anthropologist Robert Wald Sussman detailing how race is not, and never had been, a valid biological category in humans. It is one of the best books I have ever read. It starts in the 16th century and moves forward into modern times.

This book is available in hardback, paperback, Kindle, and audio formats.


The Midnight Kingdom: A History of Power, Paranoia, and the Coming Crisis By Jared Yates Sexton. This book was released in January 2023. It starts in the Roman Empire and races through centuries of colonization, war, genocide, and the recurring clashes of progress and regression. The author finds our modern world at a crossroads. Bracing and compulsively readable, the book takes a critical look at the forces that have shaped human civilization for centuries—and invites us to seek a radically different future.

This book is available in hardback, Kindle, and audio formats.


Exterminate All the Brutes is a documentary miniseries revolving around colonization and genocide, directed and narrated by Raoul Peck. The series consists of four episodes. I found it mesmerizing.

In Germany, you can watch it on Sky. If you have access to HBO, you can watch it there. If you have a US public library card or university login, you can watch it here.

If you don’t have any of those, you can watch them here.

The U.S. and the Holocaust is a three-part, six-hour series that tells the story of how the American people grappled with one of the greatest humanitarian crises of the twentieth century and how this struggle tested the ideals of our democracy. By examining the periods leading up to and during the Holocaust with fresh eyes, this film dispels competing myths that Americans either were ignorant of the unspeakable persecution that Jews faced in Europe or that they looked on with callous indifference. It also looks candidly at the roles that eugenics and racism, as well as xenophobia and antisemitism, played during this crisis and throughout American history. In the process, it grapples with questions that remain essential to our society today: Is America truly, as it claims to be, a land of immigrants? Why did we fail to rescue a people at the time of their greatest need? How do the continued struggles over how we define our past shape our future as a country?

If you have access to PBS, you can watch it at the link above. If you have a VPN, you can watch it on BCC iPlayer. Set your VPN to the UK, and should have no problem watching it. If you don’t have access to either of those, you can watch my copy here.

Bonus Material

If you can't get enough or don’t have time to watch long documentaries, look at these links.