I don’t like to bring up controversial issues because I’m not for confrontation at all. However, this month for me has brought an elephant into the room that I need to address. That elephant is Black History Month.
I do not like the idea that my history should be separated from the history of this country (and the world for that matter) and only mentioned one month a year. I think it’s absurd to limit Black History to a few key figures in our recent history, and then our history is put back on the shelf until next year. This bothers me.
I am Black, African-American, an American of African descent, or as my children say “brown skin”. I have spent many years learning bits and pieces of Black History and most of that wasn’t in an academic setting. One of my goals in homeschooling is to give my children a PROPER education of the history of our culture (and other cultures).
I have wondered, “what other homeschoolers do when Black History Month rolls around?” Do we just dust off that “I Have a Dream Speech” or that Harriet Tubman worksheet found on Pinterest? Read a biography from the library? Or should we go beyond and righteously weave Black History into the fabric of America’s History.
I believe there can be NO SEPARATION between Black History and American History. There can be NO SEPARATION between Africa and America or Africa and the rest of the world. So, why try to limit the history of black and brown people to just one lesson or one month a year? It’s impossible.
I get it. A big part of Black History may be uncomfortable to deal with, and it will raise more questions than definitive answers. That’s ok. Education in large part is finding answers to difficult questions. However, leaving out the history of an ENTIRE race of people keeps your students from having an unbiased viewpoint of the people in the world around them.
Black History can’t just be defined by one person or one brief moment in history. I mean is Martin Luther King Jr. the only black man who has done something to change this country? No! Just like the history of Native Americans should just revolve around your Thanksgiving dinner or Hispanic History around half-priced tacos and margaritas on May 5th.
We live in a world where like it or not our historical journey is long and intersects often. You can’t teach the history of one race/culture without teaching the history of another. And to teach one without the other is simply negligent.
We live in a society with an increasingly hostile racial climate. There are lots of people doing and saying some really hurtful and hateful things, especially towards minorities. I believe in part because the complete truths of minority triumphs and achievements are hidden. Those who are mislead don’t know the things that African Americans have contributed to society. So, our lives and struggles can be misconstrued as insignificant.
So as you are learning in your homeschool, please have the courage to constantly (all year long) educate your children fully about your culture and of others, and teach them how we all relate and can and have coexisted throughout history.
I’m most importantly a follower of Christ by who’s blood we believe there is salvation. We believe in biblical Truth only. Being led by the Spirit of God, we seek to raise our family by that Truth. I am a wife of 7 years, and mom to 8 wonderful children ages 6 years-11 months. We have been homeschooling for 2 years officially (6 if you include preschool). I enjoy music, gardening, and learning to live a healthy, non-toxic lifestyle.