black history is a good example. On March 9 seven membersrnof the Golden Thirteen returned to Great Lakes Naval TrainingrnGenter just outside of Ghicago to celebrate the 50th anniversaryrnof their commissions. The reader will rememberrnthat, when World War II began, the U.S. Navy was like allrnbranches of the military—segregated. Black Americans werernrelegated to jobs such as cooks and stewards. President FranklinrnRoosevelt, prodded by his wife Eleanor, challenged this racialrnpolicy. Reluctantly, the Navy selected some blacks for its officers’rnschool at Great Lakes. They were segregated and givenrnonly eight weeks of training—half the normal period. Theyrnrightfully suspected that they were being set up for failure.rnSo how did they respond? Did they stage protests? No, theyrnbanded together as the Golden Thirteen, for the gold stripesrnthey aspired to wear. When the nightly “lights out” orderrncame, they covered their windows with blankets and continuedrnstudying. They tested each other. One was a lawyer whorndrilled everyone on Navy regulations, for example. They withstoodrnthe racism, in other words, and persevered through conditionsrnthat many young blacks today only read about and willrnnever experience firsthand.rnWhen the Golden Thirteen’s tests were graded, their scoresrnwere so high that skeptical Navy officers ordered them retested.rnWhen they retook the “culturally biased” tests, the resultsrnwere even higher, averaging 3.89 out of a possible 4.0—thernbest class score ever recorded there. They were commissionedrnas ensigns on March 17,1944, and featured in Life magazine.rnThis is one of my favorite stories of the many that black historyrnholds. It shows an ability not just to overcome racism butrnto triumph in the face of it. But if this story were told the wayrnblack history is taught today, the emphasis would be on thernracism and segregation in the Armed Forces of that time insteadrnof on the accomplishments of the black Americans whornpersevered in spite of it.rnThe victim-focused approach to black history has producedrna victim identity among young blacks. This was very evidentrnin a story told to me by Ezola Foster, president of Americansrnfor Family Values (formerly Black Americans for FamilyrnValues) based in Venice, Galifornia. Foster was lecturing to arngroup of young, black, pregnant, unwed girls. They blamedrntheir condition on the legacy of slavery, which “broke up”rnblack families. They went on to describe the United States asrna racist nation in which blacks have no hope of making it.rnFoster scolded them and explained that out-of-wedlock parentingrnis a recent phenomenon in the black American experience.rnShe told them how after emancipation family membersrnwould spend up to 20 years trying to find their lost parents, children,rnand siblings (this is believed to be one of the reasons thatrnso many black children were given unique, exotic names—tornmake them easy to identify if a breakup should occur). Sherngave them statistics that showed how black Americans oncernhad a higher rate of marriage than white Americans and how inrnyears such as 1938 only eight percent of black children werernborn out of wedlock.rnThen the cultural schizophrenia came out. Since the girlsrnbelieved the United States to be such an oppressive place, Fosterrnasked them where else they would want to live. Gaught offrnguard by the question, there was momentary silence. Then onerngirl replied, “I’d like to live in Hawaii.”rnThe other black history would have helped these youngrngirls. For instance, the girls had surely heard of Rosa Parks, thernbrave black woman who refused on December 1,1955, to givernup her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, bus to a white personrnas was required by law. Her refusal started the Montgomeryrnbus boycott, which in turn spurred the civil rights movement.rnBut if you know the other black history, it is clear that muchrnmore happened. Rosa Parks was not the first black woman whorndecided to resist the order to surrender her seat for a white person.rnAccording to Taylor Branch’s Parting the Waters, in Marchrnof that same year, 1955, there was another woman, GlaudetternGolvin, who did the same thing. When Glaudette Golvin wasrntold to give up her seat, she responded with such profanity andrnvulgarity that it embarrassed the white and black people on thernbus. She was arrested, like Rosa Parks was later in the year, butrnthe difference is that Parks went to jail in the quiet protest thatrncame to symbolize the civil rights movement.rnThe black leadership of Montgomery made a decision. Theyrnhad been looking for an opportunity to challenge the oppressivernregime in the city, but they decided that Glaudette Golvinrnwas the wrong symbol. Not only had she conducted herself inrna manner that was unacceptable to them, she was also pregnantrnand unmarried. The Montgomery leaders, who wanted tornstart their protest from a moral high ground, did not want arnvulgar-tongued, unmarried pregnant woman to be the symbolrnof their budding movement. They advised Glaudette to payrnher fine, because she did not represent the kind of person thatrnthe black community of Montgomery wanted to highlight.rnMoral excellence, moral strength, and moral principles werernonce the foundation of black life in America. This is the blackrnhistory that is seldom mentioned during Black History Month.rnIf a girl got pregnant out of wedlock, her parents would sendrnher somewhere where folks did not know her until she had thernbaby. That is the way it was. No girl could get away with blamingrnher pregnancy on the legacy of slavery.rnActually, blaming slavery for anything is only a recentrnmethod of excusing failure. In fact, when slavery was still legal,rnslaves did not use bondage as an excuse to be nonproductive.rnBlack preachers never used slavery to justify negative behavior.rnBlack leaders never used slavery as a rationale for immoral andrnantisocial behavior, even when slavery was a recent memory inrnthe late 19th century.rnThe young black Americans who are so angry today are upsetrnabout things that happened to their ancestors, not to them.rnYoung blacks today have never had to sit in the back of the bus.rnThey have never been denied access to public accommodationsrnbecause of their skin color. They have opportunities that theirrnforebears never dreamed of attaining, but they are enslaved inrna way that those who preceded them never were.rnImagine, if you can, that from the moment you were born allrnyou heard—in church, from your “leaders,” from the mindlessrngarbage called rap music—is that America is racist towardrnyour people, that people have it in for you, that no matter whatrnyou do they are going to stand in your way at every turn. Thatrnwould certainly fill someone with a lot of rage if he were to believernit.rnThat is exactly what is happening to young blacks today.rnThey do not know the other black history, which would put allrnof the rhetoric of victimization to rest. And as long as youngrnblacks are made to believe that their shortcomings are solely thernresult of an ingrained racist predilection in American life thatrnseeks to circumscribe their potential, the rage and the self-destructionrnthat goes along with it will continue unabated.rnAfrocentrism, the black American offshoot of multicultur-rn24/CHRONICLESrnrnrn