"In america, februray is a month reserved for acknowledging black excellence throughout history". -Kamaria williams, 9th grade
In America, February is a month reserved for acknowledging black excellence throughout history. We all know this because it’s one of those few times your teacher won’t teach you about another white person in history. However, what happens when you actually don’t get to learn about these very important black figures, when your school actually allows you to be ignorant to the struggle of millions. This happened a few weeks ago at a middle school in Utah, which allowed parents to pull their children out of these special teachings. So, this makes it clear that America needs a lesson in common sense and decency.
First of all, there should never be a circumstance where a parent should be allowed to let their child(ren) out of teachings of any culture or group of people. It benefits no one and it will only lead a child to be just as ignorant and unaware as their parent(s). Secondly, until America can actually bear the thought of not telling us that George Washington was the first president for the millionth time, then we need this so kids can learn about important figures they wouldn’t otherwise get to know. For example, you know that Thomas Edison made the lightbulb...but did you know that technically isn’t even true? According to a Cartoon Network project on being anti-racist (and other sources) a black man named Lewis Latimer actually made the filament inside the lighbulb, along with incandescent bulbs. So if you think about it...Thomas Edison is just a fraud in this case.
So the question is, why are all these important figures never in our textbooks? Why is it always Christopher Columbus, George Washington, and other figures we’ve known since kindergarten? And how come when it is a person of color we’re learning about most teachers just hurriedly move along the unit without much thought or discussion. Simple, school history books are filled with racist crap. According to an article by The Harvard Gazette a researcher named Donald Yacovone has proof for these very words I’m saying. You all know Noah Webster right, as in Webster’s dictionary? Did you also know he wrote a book on American history titled “History of the United States”. One more thing, did you know Mr.Webster was a huge racist?
Yes racist, in his book Yacovone found that there was “next to nothing about the institution of slavery, despite the fact that it was a central American insitution. There were no African Americans ever mentioned.” If that doesn’t convince you maybe the fact that Yacovone notes that “When Webster wrote about Africans it was extremely derogatory, which was shocking because those comments were in a textbook.” Along with that Yacovone also notes that in the book “Anything less than an Anglo Saxon was not a true American.” Think about this the next time you read Webster’s dictionary.
In conclusion, there’s no reason to shy away from learning about different races, some things may be hard to hear but learning black history can pave a way for a better future. If more people were aware about the struggles of others than we could demand change for a better future. Also, African-Americans helped shape this country, we need to stop giving all the attention to rapists and murderers and give it to people who made a positive difference. I mean seriously, we’re giving holidays to murderers but it’s a problem to hear about people who made a difference in the world, just because they have a certain skin tone? I’m not saying we should abolish teachings of basic American history, but the American school system should give attention to different groups of people, and not just in February. Besides, if we’re gonna abolish anything it should be the racist textbooks that schools have been shoving down our throats for years.
How do you feel about Black History Month? Are there any famous figures we should give more attention to? Write it in the comments!
Harvard historian examines how textbooks taught white supremacy – Harvard Gazette
Tell the Whole Story | The Crystal Gems Say Be Anti-Racist | Cartoon Network (don't judge)