Thesis: African American history is one of the most interesting and toughest subjects to talk about because everyone has their opinions and their point of view about African American History. The topic is difficult to speak on. Every Tuesday and Thursday I go to my Africana American Studies class and learn something new every day. The things that I learn in this class I should’ve learned while I was in grammar school or even in high school. But they only taught me certain sections about African American history such as Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, the Underground Railroad, and slavery. I found out that there is more information than just the ones I listed above by taking this African American Studies class while I’m in college. You have two sides of those who believed that African American History should be more detailed because you can learn more and more about history. Other believed that it very embarrassing, and some people are not understanding history.
A lot of people believe that Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves in the south by writing the Emancipation Proclamation. He only did what he did because he needed some more people to help fight the Confederacy. The 13th Amendment really didn’t abolish slavery. Slavery is still going on today. Part Two, Opposing Side Other people believe that not, all African American History should be taught in schools because they don\’t want to discuss history. Some people will be embarrassed about how African American were treated back in the day. The students might hurt the other race because of what they did to their ancestors. Some just don\’t understand fully of what their history is because some parents, teachers and even schools don\’t explain everything that happened in 1865. In the article: “We Can’t Teach Black History in Isolation,” Jamiliah Pitts who wrote the article stated: “Teaching black history in 2018 means destroying false narratives of white superiority and dominance.
Teaching black history today must do more than celebrate black pioneers, scientists, educators, mathematicians, musicians, and leaders. It must also create room for students to understand that all lives cannot matter if beautiful, black lives do not matter. Teaching black history means talking about gentrification as a form of colonization and providing students with lessons and language around cultural appropriation, colorism, white privilege, and institutionalized racism.” In one of my classes, this European dude said that he hates it when it comes time to talk about African History because he feels like it is pointless, and people don’t really need to talk about it. I almost lost my cool and said some words that shouldn’t be said to a person. But this is the type of attitude that people have when it comes down to African American History. Basically, what he just telling me that he is a racist and ignorant. I just had to get my stuff and leave the class before I had to say something that I will not regret.
Persuasion African American History should play a bigger role in American History books than it does today, so people can understand their History and not repeat itself. African American History should be told the exact truth on what and how they treated African American in 1865 because if you only teach certain parts of African American History then not everyone is knowing the truth about what happened in 1865. In American History books, there are only certain sections that they will teach students. They will only teach students about the civil rights movement, the March to Washington, Rosa Parks not giving up her seat, slavery, and the Underground Railroad.There is more to Black History than what schools are teaching the students. They only teach certain sections about African American History in American History textbooks. By not teaching all the history of African Americans, you can leave people questioning whether or not it’s true or you can students not talk about it because they know nothing about their history. We can become better people if we actually talk about history and understand it.
Teaching Black History helps to build culture, character development and restorative practices that in turn will decrease the racial tension and prejudices in America. If you teach black history during the school year will help students understand why people act, they the way act around certain people.For example, I only learned about the basics in history such as ass, civil rights movement, slavery, Rosa Parks, and the underground railroad. But when I took an African Studies class, I learned that Abraham Lincoln and how he didn\’t free the slaves, Maroons and how they were a part of history, and the Trans- Atlantic Slave Trade. There are more people that were involved in African American history besides Dr. Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks and Harriet Tubman who played a big part of African American History. Only schools teach the main people, but they don\’t talk about who is Robert Smalls, Henry Box Brown, Margaret Garner, Harriet Jacobs, and William and his wife Ellen Craft. Grammar and high schools won’t talk about seasoning, the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, resistance to enslavement, and what they had to do besides the underground railroad to get to freedom. Abraham Lincoln really didn’t free the slaves, he only did it because he needed more people to help fight the Confederacy (The South).
People believe today that he wrote the 13 amendment to get rid of slavery. The 13th amendment is still slavery; the 13th amendment states: “The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution declared that \”Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. If a European (White Man) gets caught having a slavery, they cannot go to jail because he will say that they are convicted of a crime. You have to be convicted of a crime for it to not be slavery. An example is when Jamiliah Pitts who wrote an article about “We Can’t Teach Black History in Isolation.” She stated that: “many students, their exposure to black history is all too brief. Teachers may pause during Black History Month in February to throw in a lesson about Rosa Parks, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., or the civil rights movement, while other teachers may use a current rap or hip-hop song as their homage to the debt that African-Americans continue to pay to this country. Shaun King stated in one of his famous quote: “Black History Month should not begin and end with the lessons of American Slavery.” People need to know more about there history and not just the basics. We only learning African American History through our textbooks and social media reflected our race.
Slavery shouldn’t be the main factor about African American History. Even though slavery was the most important thing that happened in history, but it shouldn’t be the main focus. “There was always a focus on the civil-rights movement and it was as if black history stopped once Dr. King died,” Willis said. “We rarely learned about anyone new from year to year, and we also didn’t get a context of different time periods. I would’ve loved to have delved into African history, the Harlem Renaissance, black life in the 1970s, and beyond.” Part Four, Conclusion In the end, I believe that African American History should play a bigger role in American History books than it does today, so people can understand their History and not repeat itself. Schools need to teach more than just MLK, Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman and etc., so people just won’t believe. Before you even get to college you should already know more about African American History. We should not just be taught the basics because of what one person feels about the outcome or reaction of some people.
The truth is the truth and you shouldn’t be able to lie about the truth. If you lie about the actual truth and then someone finds out that what they learned was false, then they will be more upset. If you decided to study African American History in the future, you will know more about your history.
- Loewen, James W. Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong. The New Press, 2018. Pitts, Jamilah. “We Can\’t Teach Black History in Isolation.”
- Education Week, Editorial Project in Education, 27 June 2018, www.edweek.org/tm/articles/2018/02/21/we-cant-teach-black-history-in-isolation.html.Allen, Jason B. “Black History Is Celebrated But It Should Be Taught in Schools.” EdLANTA, 9 Nov. 2018, edlanta.org/2018/03/black-history-celebrated-taught-schools/.
- “Research Guides: 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Introduction.” Home – 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution – Research Guides at Library of Congress, Library of Congress, guides.loc.gov/13th-amendment.European Traders.”
- National Museums Liverpool, International Slavery Museums, www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/ism/slavery/europe/index.aspx.Anderson, Melinda D. “Is It Time to Retire Black History Month From the Classroom?” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 22 Feb. 2016, www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2016/02/black-history-monthretire-or-reboot/470124/