On this episode we talk to artist Danny Simmons about creating opportunities for artists of color. We celebrate the late great Clyde "Funky Drummer" Stubblefield, and we give serious side-eye to the Trump administration's Black History Month antics.
We've just survived the first Black History Month under President Trump. It was a mess from beginning to end. Vox journalist German Lopez rounded up some of the worst moments, but there were so many, it was difficult to count.
The month opened with the president managing to turn remarks aimed at honoring black history into a denouncement of the hostile press. In that same opening day speech he seemed not to know that Frederick Douglass, an historic icon on par with Abraham Lincoln, was, like the 16th president, long dead.
"I am very proud now that we have a museum on the National Mall where people can learn about Rev. King, so many other things," he said. "Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who's done an amazing job and is getting recognized more and more, I notice."
The month ended with Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos calling historically black colleges and universities "real pioneers" of school choice. Her statement either ignored the fact that many HBCUs were founded because segregation barred black students from higher education, or bizarrely equated segregation with the creation of school choice.
In a tweet, Congresswoman Barbara Lee schooled Devos, explaining that "#HBCUs weren't 'more options' for black students — for many years, they were the ONLY option".
Not to be outdone in Black History Month offenses, Attorney General Jeff Sessions held his first press conference on Feb. 28. He indicated that he would end monitoring of polices forces suspected of systemic civil rights violations and brutality.
We wonder what the administration has in store for next year.