Black history is more than Juneteenth, Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks – Press Telegram

Orani Labeau learned more about Juneteenth, the day of history that marks the end of slavery in the United States, when he approached the end of high school in an AP history class.

She was a freshman at California State University Long Beach and heard about the Tulsa race massacre. In 1921, a white mob was armed on behalf of city officials, attacking blacks, destroying homes and killing more. Injured more than 800 and many others.

After graduating from Fontana Summit High School in 2017, Labeau learned about Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks during the Classroom and Black History Month observed in February. However, as a young African-American girl, she relied on her curiosity and research skills to be an abolitionist, a woman who was born into slavery but escaped freely with her young daughter in 1826. It was necessary to discover celebrities such as Sojourner Truth, a rights activist in the country. .. After going to court to get his son back in 1828, Truth became the first black woman to win such a proceeding against a white man.

“Why didn’t I hear about her at school?” Lavo asks. “What about Ida B. Wells, Toni Morrison, and many others? Why did I have to learn so much myself?”

Lack of depth and context

LeBeaud is not the only one asking such questions.One year after considering racial discrimination after murder nationwide George Floyd In a pandemic that disproportionately killed Minneapolis and African Americans, black students, teachers, and activists in Southern California and the United States are demanding a better black history program at school. They talk about the urgent need to give black history the context, depth, and meaning it deserves.

On Thursday, President Joe Biden celebrated June 19, 1865, to commemorate the day Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger, who fought for the Union Army, led his army to Galveston, Texas, to deliver the following message: Signed a bill to make Teens a federal holiday. The war was over, the Union Army won, and they had the human resources to force the end of slavery. This happened two months after the end of the Civil War, after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

African Americans have traditionally commemorated June 16 with proclamation readings, cooking, food festivals, and other activities celebrating African-American history and culture.

Many in the community are pleased that Juneteenth has been officially approved by the U.S. government, but the lesson of history is the black struggles and struggles that have endured since that day, and the system that was formed in the next century. Some are worried that they may be talking very little about inequality.

Report titled “Inland Empire Black Education Agenda” Released by BLU Education Foundation At San Bernardino in February, we found that black history is three of the top priorities for black students and their parents. This discovery was also a surprise to the authors of the study at the time. The group surveyed 1,100 black parents, students, and community members of the Inland Empire.

According to a 2015 survey by the National Museum of African American History and Culture, American history classes dedicate one or two lessons to black history.To 2014 surveyThe Southern Poverty Law Center has found that 12 states do not require any instructions regarding the civil rights movement. Less than half covered the Jim Crow method.

The center gave California a B on historical standards that were adopted in 1998 and recently updated in 2016.

The California school presents Martin Luther King Jr.’s kindergarten story in the context of learning about a national holiday named after him. In grades 2 and 3, students learn about Harriet Tubman, who pioneered a network of anti-slavery activists and safe homes known as the Underground Railroad to save and free slavery. The standards require that we dig deeper into slavery around the fifth grade.

In the second year of middle school, teachers are encouraged to discuss resistance by enslaved people and the role that slavery played in American politics. In grade 11, students analyze the development of federal and citizen voting rights laws and groundbreaking events such as the Brown v. Board of Education that led to the elimination of racial discrimination in schools.

Teach the difficult truth

Akilah Lyons-Moore, an assistant professor at the USC Rossier School of Education, states that despite these standards in California, actual educational practices are inadequate. Students learn about Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Montgomery Bus Boycott, and about slavery, but the racial aspects of slavery are not clearly taught.

“We are moving from indentured servitude to slavery to the slave trade,” said Lions Moore. “But students don’t learn how the way to distinguish who was enslaved and who was free became colored. They know that slaves have been released. But they know that 6 I don’t think the reconstruction period after 16th June was the most deadly for black people. “

Some people say that slavery “may feel like it used to be,” but blacks don’t.

“My grandma was born into a peasant family,” Lyons-Moore said. “That was only two generations ago, and the impact is still felt. The history taught in our classroom does not tell us.”

Pastor James Baylark, Pastor of the First Community Baptist Church in Desert Hot Springs, said the history of blacks should be introduced in detail at the primary school level. He says he is working with the Inland Empire and the Los Angeles County school district to make that happen.

“I’m not saying California is better than any other state when it comes to teaching black history,” he said. “Teaching seems to me to be limited to Black History Month. It should be discussed daily.”

Catch them young

Even high school students don’t know who Garrett Morgan is, says African-American Baylark. Morgan was an African-American inventor, whose notable inventions were traffic lights and gas masks.

“It seems to me that important facts about black history are introduced too late,” said the minister. “By that time, (students) had lost interest. We need to catch them young, and that’s important for all children, not just African-American children.”

Billy Bush, an elementary school teacher at his home in Yorba Linda, California, on Friday, June 18, 2021. Bush believes that students have not learned enough about slavery and what happened to blacks after slavery. (Photo courtesy of Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register / SCNG)

But it leaves a lasting impression on their psyche, especially when African-American children are not taught history and culture, and teaches history and math at Mildred Dalton Henry Elementary School in San Bernardino. Billy Bush said.

“Children’s self-esteem comes from knowing who they are and where they came from,” he said. “When it comes to education, they don’t seem to want depth. They’re trying to cover the bare minimum and move on. We need to teach African-American history deeply. It’s a ball player on TV. Or especially important for black boys looking at themselves as drug dealers. It’s sad because they haven’t been given a journey or story. “

Real history, real change

Teaching black history at school is also a great way to improve racial relationships, said Bush, whose mother is African-American and whose father is white.

“The only way we can overcome racism is for people to understand what has happened to the oppressed,” he said. “If you teach everyone the true history, you will see real change.”

Black history is more than Juneteenth, Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks – Press Telegram Source link Black history is more than Juneteenth, Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks – Press Telegram

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