Trying to erase black history will not succeed

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While Governor Ron DeSantis and the College Board disputed an advanced course of African American studies, the so-called “division conceptsLike “Critical Race Theory,” school districts across the country have already been working to integrate Black Studies concepts across the curriculum without isolating classrooms for student selection or fueling political controversy.

A new AP chapter wouldn’t be the best way to introduce black history to high school students. Great racial and ethnic spreads It’s still going on in A-level classes – and the College Board’s standardized testing by its very nature Advantages richer students Bring Higher-ranked schools with more AP offerings and able to pay for more expensive test prep resources. Controversy in Florida also points to a similar incident in 2015, when the college board gave in after nearly a year of wrangling with conservative politicians and academics over the AP’s framework for US history. Among other changes, the reviewer The framework deemphasized British colonial encounters with Native Americans and omitted direct references to “white racial supremacy” and xenophobia in the lessons of slavery and manifest destiny.

California has long been a leader in ethnic studies and black history education. San Francisco State University established the nation’s first college of ethnic studies in 1969 after leaders of the Black Student Union joined with other student groups to demand course offerings that reflected the history and cultures of people of color in the state. After more than 50 years, state legislators added A semester-long course in Ethnic Studies for high school graduation requirements beginning in the 2029-2030 academic year.

Many teachers view black history as merely an addition to traditional American history lessons that feature whites as central figures.

Last June, the California Compensation Task Force, the first in the country, released nearly 500 pages interim report He not only recommended an advanced schedule for high school ethnic studies classes, but also the creation of a K-12 Black Studies curriculum. One member of the staff Tell MarketWatch notes that these recommendations are “directly opposed to this movement toward ignorance,” referring to Gov. DeSantis’ efforts to rid Florida public schools of all things “woke.”

In the fall of 2020, the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), which serves more than 50,000 students, outlet K-12 Black Studies Framework and Curriculum for the 2022-2023 school year. Currently, the Ethnic Studies Program at SFUSD funds a part-time teacher on special assignment to create Black Studies lessons, as well as an optional Black Studies unit for high school ethnic studies teachers. At the moment, the materials are only used in secondary schools.

the Prospect They explored the San Francisco Unified District program with two black high school teachers who developed black studies lessons for the area. Citing privacy and safety concerns, both teachers asked not to be identified. As native Californians, both teachers are well aware that their state is often heralded as a progressive haven, even though it is no more racist-free than any other region in the country. The first teacher shared the story of their grandfather, whose family sent him to California at a young age in 1938 out of fear he would be killed by whites in his native Texas. This educator explained that while it is easy to point fingers at the South, it is equally important to acknowledge educational shortcomings in more liberal areas.

They said, “What’s happening in Florida is despicable.” Students should have access to black studies at every level, kindergarten through doctoral program. But the most terrible thing is that not everyone has studies of blacks.

The second teacher added that they operate on the premise that the contemporary American educational system is structurally damaging to students of color. They said, “We were fired and given fewer resources.” “And still to this day, if you compare the average school with a majority black population to a school with a majority of white students, the resources are not the same.”

Teachers’ lessons borrow major ethnic studies themes such as anti-oppression and anti-imperialism (such as reframing western expansion as the “eastern encroachment” of settlers on indigenous lands). them too diligently To highlight issues facing local residents, he matched students with local political groups and created lessons on mutual aid projects such as community refrigerators, a popular social service that provides free fresh food to food-insecure neighborhoods.

According to LaGarrett J. King, assistant professor of social studies education at the University at Buffalo, many educators see black history as merely an addition to traditional American history lessons that portray white people as central figures, while glossing over black people’s experiences. and contributions. “If you really study black history,” he said, “the traditional narrative doesn’t make any sense.” “Because the views are different and the understanding of living realities is completely different.”

in “Black history is not American historyKing described principles of “black historical awareness” for educators to incorporate into their curricula, such as Africa and the African diaspora; black potency, resistance and tenacity; and black identities. Collectively, these themes aim to “explore black identity through complex, nuanced narratives that attempt to reach the full humanity of black people.” “I like to tell people all the time, a lot of times we teach black history, but we don’t know during said the king. “By that I mean, using black stories and perspectives to teach black history.”

He noted that many educators usually frame the landmark Supreme Court decision, Brown v. Board of Education, as a positive historical event that ended segregation in public schools and moved the country in a progressive direction. However, this account suggests that most black schools at the time were academically inferior to white schools, and that black students needed to attend white schools in order to get a better education. King added that African Americans believed that black schools set them on a high level and were no worse than the white schools they integrated. In fact, black students and their families often prefer their own schools because they have experienced racism from their white teachers and peers in integrated settings. He said that this discriminatory treatment contributes to the persistence of racial achievement gaps.

Beyond the Golden State, Delaware, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Maine have passed legislation mandating black history courses in public schools even as Republican states continue to resist universal black history education.