Winter of 2008, Black History Month, and my third grade music teacher, announces, “Stand up if you would have been a victim of segregation,” following with, “Now, everyone look around.” February. The month of Rosa Parks, “I Had A Dream,” marches, and sit-ins. The month I had begun to despise greater each year. The month where I would be chosen to lead many readings and join classroom discussions, as if my being ‘black’ would provide some clarity that would enhance the learning experience for my fellow peers.
Daniel “Chappie” James Jr All throughout history, all kinds of people have made a difference in this world. The marks they have left and the changes they have made are extraordinary. However, countless amounts of people’s efforts and hard work are not acknowledged due to the color of their skin. Black history month is an opportunity to celebrate those who have not let discrimination and racism stop them from changing the world.
In the preface of Lawrence Levine’s Black Culture and Black Consciousness, he establishes two endeavors that his text was intended to accomplish. The first of these was to accurately analyze the history of the general African American population from the antebellum period to the 1940’s. It was Levine’s hope to “write a history of thought of a people who have been too largely neglected and too consistently misunderstood”(xxvii). It was his goal to give a perspective on the history of African Americans that was closer to the truth than those that are most often portrayed by historians. Lawrence Levine also introduces in his preface the idea that historians are often limited by their bias towards sources that are easily acquired and have been
The African History evolved throughout the 20th century where an increasing number of white historians working in the field ( Holt & Brown, 2000). However, there were numerous areas in which work needed to be done. Therefore white historians entered the field to share the work. One of them published the first extensive study of slavery.
From this, the lives of African Americans proved to be much stronger than what was credited for. Great criticism had yet to come from and the thrive of such influential people was beginning to be acknowledged. Barriers have now been broken and the race for equality has begun. With the foundation of a newly
What was never presented was the point of view from the African Americans because it was seemingly dismissed. It was eye-opening to read about the experience from an African’s perspective because it brought a whole new light to my understanding of what it meant to be a slave and the struggles black Americans face here in the US, even
While passing this information, their humanity is ignored as their humanity was denied in the past. However, when the huge contributions of the African Americans during, before, and after their enslavement are acclaimed, then their humanity is un-denied, and their lives start to matter in the society. The start of initiatives introducing the learning of black history in schools allows the restoration of the humanity of African Americans. It opens up the society to the ideology that society can only learn to appreciate the African American members of the society by learning about their history. This revelation should also allow children to grow appreciating African Americans, not just from their color but from their historical path that has led them to strive to be crucial members of the society.
How much of American history do you know? Black history is a part of America’s history, but why is it not deeply taught in schools? In schools we often talk about white American leaders or wars America has won, but not much history of other cultures in America. We may hear a little information about certain minority leaders who fought for a change, but not much facts. If today’s youth aren’t being taught about the thing’s their ancestors have gone through and all the things that has happened and why, many will grow up ignorant. Dr. Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Jackie Robinson, these are only a few people mentioned in class, but what about Claudette Colvin who nine months before Rosa Parks, decided not to get off the bus and was taken to jail, or Emmett Till who was 14 and brutally beaten and killed for whistling at a white woman. These are only a few who are not mentioned in our history books or classrooms.
African Americans face a struggle with racism which has been present in our country before the Civil War began in 1861. America still faces racism today however, around the 1920’s the daily life of an African American slowly began to improve. Thus, this time period was known by many, as the “Negro Fad” (O’Neill). The quality of life and freedom of African Americans that lived in the United States was constantly evolving and never completely considered ‘equal’. From being enslaved, to fighting for their freedom, African Americans were greatly changing the status quo and beginning to make their mark in the United States.
Growing up, in school all we really learned about the struggles of black people were slavery and segregation. It was glossed over and glammed up to seem as if once the Civil Rights movement was over African Americans received equal rights and then everyone held hands and sang Kumbaya. This is far from the truth, since the end of slavery in 1865 up until now in 2017, African Americans still deal with intolerance and do not receive equal rights. Carol Anderson has written a book that is extremely powerful, yet infuriating and depressing. Anderson does a fantastic job of showcasing the systematic oppression of African Americans throughout history.
As time passed by, Frederick Douglass became well known. He empowered African Americans to develop their own skills to make a change in society. In Frederick’s opinion, he believed that people uphold the power to form a better future. Frederick questioned saying, “ what to the American slave is your Fourth of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim” (Douglass 12).
Woodson did that contributed to Black History was invented Black History Month. He believed that education and building up social and professional contacts among the black and white people could reduce racism. He also promoted the organized study of African-American history partly for that purpose. He later promoted the first Negro History Week in Washington, D.C., in 1926, that later would become Black History Month. He did it to coincide with the marking birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.
Black history is probably one of my favorite to learn about, so it is no surprise that I would take such joy and excitement of teaching it to children. I 've done this fun, crafty, and educational activity with my three and four-year old at one daycare that I taught at and they absolutely loved it. I 'm very much a history buff as well as a sports fanatic (thanks to my Dad) and I choose the great Jackie Robinson who was essentially the first African-American man to break the color line in major league baseball (MLB) in 1947. Mr. Robinson played for the Brooklyn Dodgers as a second-base man and was placed in the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962, which was well-deserved. Fun Fact:
Why is African American History so important? Why is American History important? Those are two important questions we should ask ourselves whenever questions like that are asked in the classroom, in the different political aspects, and most importantly in our homes with our children whom are ever so thirsty for knowledge and eager to grow. In my opinion African American History should be included into American History and no difference should be made, but we as human beings have not gotten that far in our lively hood and have separated the two.
John C. Gardner once said “History never looks like history when you are living through it.” For the people who lived during the Juneteenth, Jim Crow South, and even slavery they may have never believe that their lives would be recognized on this trail. For many of them I’m sure it was no easy road, but today we honor their legacy with not only this trail but by preserving their legacy by teaching the youth about their triumphs and accomplishments during such a strenuous time for African American individuals. I began my journey through the African American Heritage trail with the Basilica of Immaculate Conception. The site itself was keeper of records for births, deaths, and origins of Spanish, African, and French ancestors.