This month is a time when we celebrate African American history. So the question we asked our readers is, Why do we celebrate this month? I thought that it would be nice to ask students this question and to my surprise the answers mostly surrounded Martin Luther King Jr. I will say that honoring Martin Luther King Jr. is an essential part of the month. The other answers I got were that they celebrate this month in honor of Civil Rights. I then asked other students the same question and they said it’s about our Civil Rights. The idea that all these students only know part of the story of what and how we got those rights is sad. I will say that it’s essential that our students learn the entire story. Yet we must do this in a way that doesn’t just teach them about all the violence.
It’s my fear that if we only teach these students that this is a 'race war' it will incite more violence. It is my hope that while this curriculum is desperately needed, sensitivity must be inserted into the fabric of the teacher. Modern slavery may not be in the curriculum but is a true and right fact that is still present in our society today. Having educators who understand the questions and feelings that they may be presented with is important. Our kids must know the truth of our history, while this may bring emotions, these kids are entitled to those emotions and to show them in a respectful way.
As a community we need to stress that yes there was violence but with that came some peace. We need to give these students a bigger portfolio of great African Americans leaders. Then we need to explain that getting an education is a big part of their civil rights. We need to stress that with a good education their path of open doors will continue. When our students learn about their African American culture, is when they will have a deeper understanding of themselves. When we're able to do this, then we will see a better future for our students.
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Have a great week,