What The History?
It's a few days into Black History Month or as the Obamas call it, African American History Month, and I'm wondering what history we're really telling this month and the months thereafter. Not long ago, Black History Month was a week-long celebration of black history and culture, students may have crammed book reports and class presentations into that one week as if the three most popular African Americans all kids learn about in school--Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth and Martin Luther King--came to life all over again. But then what happened following that week?
We went home, watched the "I Have A Dream" speech for the one thousandth time and moved on with our lives. But what if African American History Month was all year like it is for all the other people in history kids learn about in school? Or what if all ethnic cultures and races of people were studied in school and elsewhere, would we possibly have a more tolerant world? It's our responsibility to teach what we know, but also to learn about what we don't know, and not only in February. Remember this: We can't go farther in this lifetime if we do no more today than we did yesterday.