I and many other African Americans have been questioning our education system for the longest. How can we ever truly excel or be considered equal if we are not fully educated nor aware of our tragic beginnings?
I look back on my early education years, longing to learn more about my culture’s history. Specifically, I longed for more than what society and our education system wanted me to know.
I recall us scratching the surface when we approached the topic of slavery. However, we never dug deep as we did for other historical subjects such as the Holocaust. Why is this? Although Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and Harriet Tubman are historical black figures and helped to pave the way for future generations, there is so much more to my culture that we need to learn and be aware of. Although slavery is a disturbing subject, it is our history and it should be taught in a way that brings about awareness and understanding. The Tulsa Race Massacre, Juneteenth, The Three-Fifths Compromise and so much more should all be engraved in our education system. Yes, these are gruesome subjects, but all in all, it is history. Is our system frightened that the youth will be empowered or view society for what it truly is?
I also longed to learn more about the successes of my race after its devastating time of slavery and segregation. I learned far more about people and their successes of other backgrounds rather than my own. The achievements of my race were not included in the curriculum for me to become inspired by my culture. Now that I am wiser, I realize that my race is involved in the habit of being misrepresented. Henrietta Lacks, Robert Smalls, Shirley Chisholm, and so many more people of color are misrepresented for their achievements, inventions, and sacrifices.
Woefully, we have yet to reach equality, justice, or success from within. However, what we have achieved doesn’t seem to be readily available information for us to feel some sort of inspiration.
Although in the future, my children will be able to learn that an African American man became the president of the United States after all of our setbacks, I wonder if I will be tasked with the responsibility to educate my children of our history and why it matters.
These are all of my experiences, reactions, and thoughts in regard to the shortfalls of our current education system. Sadly, many, if not all African Americans have a similar perception.
Below are a couple of articles that I found interesting in regards to Black history and our education system: