"Okay class Black History Month is over, we will learn more (or not) about Dr. King and Rosa Parks next February...please complete your boring Eurocentric History Packet and turn it in at the end of the hour."
Black History Month (started as Black History Week in 1926), the vision of Dr. Carter G. Woodson is celebrating its 40th Anniversary this month...not even a mention at our school this year.
Is Black History Month even relevant anymore (after all we have President Obama - sarcasm mine) or just something that school districts do to help them feel good about themselves by taping up a few posters and maybe "celebrating" with a disingenuous assembly?
According to Teaching Tolerance, a project sponsored by the Southern Poverty Law Center, public schools in America do a very inadequate job of teaching Black History. It graded all 50 states and found that many would receive a failing grade (Minnesota received a D!) for "incorporating" Black History (or anything but a Eurocentric view) into their curriculum.
Is the answer "Black History Month" or is it just a compartmentalized slap in the face?
In my opinion, any worthwhile public school curriculum would incorporate slavery, exploitation, classism, deportation, race and racism, classism, sexism, nativism, imperialistic colonialism, etc. into every unit of study in all academic areas...because these issues occur on a daily basis in America.
Talk about relevance...critical thinking skills...building critical consciousness...empathy...
Dr. Woodson was driven by the vision that all students were deprived of a true education if they weren't learning about each others cultural heritage, struggles, accomplishments, etc.
Are all students valued in the curriculum or just a side issue that can be studied during Hispanic Heritage Month or Black History Month, etc.?
Only the students know...
What grade would you give your school?