#BlackHistoryMonth – We Owe Our Kids More

#BlackHistoryMonth has been around, in some form, for nearly 100 years.  It’s 2017, and I believe we can do better.  Civil rights leaders’ accomplishments are taught in a way designed to makes us feel safe and comfortable.  The message has basically been reduced to “a long time ago, the status quo was really bad, but then some good people came along and made it better, and today’s status quo is pretty much acceptable”.  But let’s be real.  If society had already learned every lesson we needed to know from Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Robert Smalls, Dr. King, and Rosa Parks…there would have been no hashtags for #MichaelBrown, #PhilandoCastile, #EricGarner, #TrayvonMartin, #SandraBland, and the ever-growing list of victims…

We must do more than just spend one month per year studying the achievements of long-dead Black innovators and civil rights heroes.  Our students deserve real-life interactions with living, local community activists and allies who are working toward a better society.  Our Black students should grow up knowing that their futures matter.  We must teach our children to identify the source of systemic oppression, to always analyze the status quo, and how to dismantle the systems that hold them back.


In solidarity,


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