Frank Abate abatefr at EARTHLINK.NET
Sun Jul 21 16:45:55 UTC 2002

Larry Horn quoted, in discussing the etymythology from "pick":

from a posting circulated on the Internet in 1999 (note the reference
to the Smithsonian):
This e-mail is being sent to you as a public service announcement and
as information in the form of a little known Black History Fact. This
information can also be found in the African American Archives at the
Smithsonian Institute.

Although not taught in American learning institutions and literature,
it is noted in most Black history professional circles and literature
that the origin of the term "picnic" derives from the acts of
lynching African-Americans. The word "picnic" is rooted from the
whole theme of "Pick A Nigger." This is where individuals would "pic"
a Black person to lynch and make this into a family gathering. There
would be music and a "picnic." ("Nic" being the white acronym for
"nigger.") Scenes of this were depicted in the movie "Rosewood."

We should choose to use the word "barbecue" or "outing" instead of
the word "picnic."

Please forward this e-mail to all of your family and friends and
let's educate our people.

This reminds me of the Black History "fact" that Cleopatra was black.  She
was, in actual fact, a Greek whose family hailed from Macedonia originally,
and was the dynasty that took charge in Egypt after its conquest by
Alexander the Great and the later rule of his Ptolemaic successors.

But still one sees Cleopatra depicted here and there as black, and spoken
about as such.  One noted such occurrence was in a video of Michael
Jackson's -- not the usual sort of place for history, but no doubt very
widely circulated and remembered still.  After that, it is hard to pry this
false notion out of the heads of many who have not studied this period of
Egyptian history with some perspective and from contemporary sources.

Frank Abate

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