Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Coachella

Donald Trump had a little Black History Month Breakfast yesterday that included a bunch of Rent-A-Homies since nobody believes Trump knows that many Black people who would willingly be seen on camera with him. Omarosa, notwithstanding. Omarosa sitchoazzdown.

The most puzzling part of the entire non-sensical pseudo speech/rant was that it seems entirely possible that Donald Trump (and subsequently Sean Spicer) doesn’t know that Frederick Douglass is, like, waaaaaay dead. He’s been dead for 122 years now. Trump, on the other hand, was talking about him like he was out here doing the work right now, almost as if he was talking about Ta-Nehisi Coates, or somebody. To wit:

“I am very proud now that we have a museum on the National Mall where people can learn about Reverend King, so many other things, Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is getting recognized more and more, I notice. Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, and millions more black Americans who made America what it is today. Big impact.” (Emphasis mine.)


While I don’t expect that Donald Trump has any idea who or what Frederick Douglass actually was or did – I imagine he finally visited the Blacksonian or went to Douglass’ estate in SE DC and was like, I like this guy – I would expect him to know that he is no longer living. And if he does know, he spoke of him in the most contemporary way possible. Who knows, maybe somebody hologrammed up Freddy boy and had him visit the White House. It’s great that Trump is noticing him now though.

I’m guessing that since Douglass is getting recognized more and more for his vast and significant accomplishments in the Black Lives Matter movement, that other Americans who presumably have no clue who he is will ALSO notice. This is a good thing. Just yesterday I noticed somebody noticing me. And I had to put them on notice that I noticed them noticing me and wanted to let them know that I noticed them too.  The same with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. either, who despite being the only Black person guaranteed to show up in any American history text book, is not somebody that you can know much about unless you come to DC and visit the Blacksonian. He had a big impact, though. Big big.

Well, considering that Trump sounds like he doesn’t know Frederick Douglass is actually dead, I’d imagine that there might be other folks that Darth Cheeto might not know are dead. If I had to guess, here is a list of 10 Black people Trump doesn’t know are dead.


1. Tupac

No bullshit, the hologram game might have confused a significant number of people. I’d bet good money that Tupac has met Donald Trump before, ya know, before he died in 1996, and Trump probably hasn’t thought about him since. Then he saw that hologram shit at Coachella a few years back. I’m just saying, to Trump, he’s probably still alive.

Sidenote: I also might think ‘Pac is still alive.

2. Curtis Mayfield

Curtis Mayfield passed away in 1999. Amazingly, there are still Black people today who have no idea he’s dead. And if Black people still get it wrong, I know Trump don’t know. I’ll bet he reached out to the Mayfield estate to perform during inauguration but the email somehow went to Chrisette Michelle instead. There’s a C and an M so I can see how that could be confusing for the Trump Administration.


3. Whitney Houston

She was, after all, just shouted out in BET’s “The New Edition Story” and we all know Trump was glued to his television watching that.

4. Teddy Pendergrass

See Curtis Mayfield, save for the Chrisette Michelle email.

5. Marvin Gaye

I’ll bet Trump is a Marvin Gaye fan. I’ll also bet that he has no clue Marvin is dead. This will lead to somebody playing the What’s Going On? album for him the eventual determination that it’s protest music against his administration and trying to ban Marvin Gaye to Brick Mansions inside of Detroit, since that’s where Motown is headquartered. (Note: Motown is no longer headquartered in Detroit and hasn’t been since 1972.)


6. Carter G. Woodson

I don’t think that Trump actually reads books. I doubt he’s even read his own biographies. However, I would imagine that a book title like The Miseducation of the Negro would catch his eye and cause him to shout-out Woodson when his education secretary finally gets confirmed as being somebody who is on top of understands what’s really happening in those inner cities that are burning. If this DeVos thing doesn't work out, look out for the Carter G. Woodson nomination. Woodson died in 1950 in case you weren’t aware.

7. Huey Newton

One thing Trump loves is a good adversary. I’m sure somebody will mention the Black Panthers at some point during his tenure at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, and he’ll ask who founded it and then he will assume that person is still alive and antagonizing him. Huey gone. Our nigga dead since 1989.


8. Langston Hughes

I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump thinks that Langston Hughes owns Busboys & Poets in DC. And I’m not joking.

9. W.E.B. Dubois

He wrote The Souls of Black Folks. I wonder if Trump tried to audiobook that joint to see if he could bring him in to lead the Black Folks Initiative at the Department of the Interior because souls are inside your body.  Did y’all know he died in 1963? That seems so recent.


10. Sojourner Truth

Ten bucks says he thinks she was at the Woman’s March and will reach out to J. Edgar Hoover to put her on the race agitator list.