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Interview: Joel Christian Gill, Author Of 'Strange Fruit' And 'Tales Of The Talented Tenth' : NPR

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On Black History Month and #28daysarenotenough

I founded that hashtag. I was actually giving an interview ... over the summer. And my sister Tiffany was tweeting me. And I said something to the effect of, "These were everybody's stories. We should be talking about them 365 days a year." And my sister said, "I'm with you, because 28 days are not enough." And I thought, 'That's going to be my rallying cry.' ...

These stories are quintessentially American stories. I can't say that enough. It's not that I dislike Black History Month. I just don't think Black History Month is enough. And I think that when we say "Black History Month," we have a tendency to go through a greatest hits of all the black historical figures: Dr. King, Malcolm X, George Washington Carver, Thurgood Marshall, President Obama. We talk about these people, and by the time we get through with them, we don't have a conversation about the people who, in the face of American racism, pulled themselves up by their bootstraps and made a way for themselves.

Some man or woman in Louisiana deciding that, "The only way I'm going to be able to get up in the morning and go to do what I need to do, is to run. And to run thousands of mile barefooted through snow and ice with only a river and stars and spirituals to guide me" — that's an American idea. Like, "I am going to do anything I possibly can for freedom." But we relegate that to only 28 days, and I think that's just not enough to talk about it.

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