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Is Black History taught in schools?

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  • Is Black History taught in schools?

    I was talking to someone outside of Philly and they said that they didn't learn anything about black history or anything in school. I said that here in philly we don't learn jack about European history, but everybody knows about the Mali to the Songhai or Marcus Garvey to Nat Turner. Malcolm X gets as much attention as MLK, which the person found shocking. Unfortunately, no one in Philly knows what the Protestant Reformation is or even heard of it, for example, which has had a far greater influence on America and the world today than let's say Mansa Musa's pilgrimage to Mecca which every 8th grader here could tell you about.

    So I'm asking... do people in other cities learn about minority history to the extent that we do here in Philly? I've always been against such minority patronizing (and complete negliegence of Europe) but that was assuming the schools of the whole country was saturated with such inequality.


    thanks
    "Flutie was better than Kelly, Elway, Esiason and Cunningham." - Ben Kenobi
    "I have nothing against Wilson, but he's nowhere near the same calibre of QB as Flutie. Flutie threw for 5k+ yards in the CFL." -Ben Kenobi

  • #2
    I've never leanred a bit about Mali and Songhai and the like... but then why should one taught about African history in a European culture, there's just no time for that, and the teaching of European history was already shallow at best.

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    • #3
      We learn about the slave trade, and that's about it.
      Concrete, Abstract, or Squoingy?
      "I don't believe in giving scripting languages because the only additional power they give users is the power to create bugs." - Mike Breitkreutz, Firaxis

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      • #4
        Well, 19th century colonial affairs are a matter, not to that detailed an extent though.

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        • #5
          As far as I can tell history education in the US is pretty crappy across the board. I don't remember a big concentration on black history except for a few token units on George Washington Carver in February. Most of my schooling was in Arkansas but I was in Phailadelphia for a few years. I'm a bit curious about my old school with all the reorganization that's been going on there.

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          • #6
            The day that High Schoo portrays Black History based on what we know (w/o subscribing whole heartedly to some theories while other theories have equal validity). History in High School (with perhaps the exception of AP high school) is cultural indoctrination. Black history is somewhat of a black mark (no pun intended) on US history. Its NOT going to get an honest look over in public schools. Way too many special interests are involved in the end result of our cirriculum. High school history is an attempt to paint a semi-accurate picture of America that doesnt make anyone mad. No controversy is the goal, not accuracy.

            I highly recomend that everyone interested read "Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong" by James Lowen. Very enlightening book.
            "What can you say about a society that says that God is dead and Elvis is alive?" Irv Kupcinet

            "It's easy to stop making mistakes. Just stop having ideas." Unknown

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            • #7
              Well there is limited time to learn about history, so I guess school should teach the important stuff (not that we actually learned about that ), and while the history of Mali is interesting, in the scheme of things it isn't very important.

              We didn't learn about 'Black history'.
              "The Christian way has not been tried and found wanting, it has been found to be hard and left untried" - GK Chesterton.

              "The most obvious predicition about the future is that it will be mostly like the past" - Alain de Botton

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              • #8
                Its sad too, cause people of our (Im 21) generation know they were taught crap and that the truth is messier. It doesnt help make us any less cynical.

                Its also sad because true and honest US history is interesting.

                BTW as an example: I never learned of how America treated slave revolts in Haiti and other sugar areas. Also often in southern classrooms slavery is often portrayed as a equitable practice for both sides while in actuality it is actually near impossible to tell exactly how the black slaves felt about their condition. They were mostly illiterate (education was illegal) those that could write were either 1) free or 2) so high in the ranks that they cant speak really for the field hands. Then there's controversial evidence gathered during the Roosevelt administration, where white government employees went around to former slaves (who were children at the time) and interviewed them about their experience. Critics argue though that these tales were embelleshed upon quite a bit.

                Oh I also like how after the great success of civil rights (or so its portrayed) after the civil war, what happens next to black americans kind of dissapears other than anecdotal pieces of optimism - this clever black man invented some oil applier or something, how cute then the story picks up of course at Martin Luther King, ignoring all that unpleasentness in between. Yay america, we treat minorities well.

                :sarcasm:

                Oh dont even get me started about mindless history standardized testing. There is a reason the US sucks at history.
                "What can you say about a society that says that God is dead and Elvis is alive?" Irv Kupcinet

                "It's easy to stop making mistakes. Just stop having ideas." Unknown

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                • #9
                  I proud to say that the public school I went to did a great job teaching English, literature, history (mostly European and American but one semister was spent on mid-east and Asian history), higher math (most people took Calculas as a college prep); as well as extras such as foriegn language, music, and art.

                  Learning about minority contributions to society is important but many of the modern PC versions totally eliminate tradional history topics. If someone can't identify something as basic as the Protestant Reformation then the entire school board for that city should be shot. There simply is no excuse...
                  Try http://wordforge.net/index.php for discussion and debate.

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                  • #10
                    When I was in school, 20 years ago, we didn't learn jack squat about Black history, even in February. Black people didn't exist in hisotry, except as the slavery problem. Then they disappeared for 100 years until MLK.

                    From everything I've heard from other folks, that is still pretty much the case today. In schools with large minority populations, they do pay more attention to African and Black histories. Still, I'm not sure that Mali and Songhai deserve that much attention paid to them for an US history class. Marcus Garvey, Nat Turner, and Malcolm X should get plenty of attention paid to them. X was pretty much the main inspiration for the much more vocal and radical Black youth after 1965. Garvey was the leader of the largest movement in Black history (and is virtually unknown).

                    Nat Turner may or may not have been at the center of a large slave conspiracy to overthrow slavery in South Carolina. There is a rened debate about that now, since much of the evidence was the word of one or two people and it is now argued that Turner may have been the victim of the corrupt govenor of South Carolina using him as a scapegoat to turn attention away from him.
                    Christianity: The belief that a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree...

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                    • #11
                      this'll blow your mind

                      HA think your high schools are bad, check out mine

                      We have an advisory class once a week to catch up on stuff, retake tests. My teacher for that is the football coach and a US history teacher. The 1st semester final in that class was TO NAME THE CAPITALS OF THE STATES!. That's pathetic, for a large suburban school that was only built 5 years ago, its a damn shame.

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                      • #12
                        i think the biggest problem, which has been addressed, is the giant leap from 1865 to 1954. Not much is said for what goes on between then. And until just before high school, i was under the impression that slavery was ended so everyone was treated the same (minus Jim Crow)

                        Only in AP did we really go into Reconstruction...

                        but for the proportion that black history is of US History, I think it's more than covered in the classroom. Just, perhaps, not evenly throughout (IE certain time periods of black history are pushed more than others...Slavery/Civil Rights being the big one)
                        "Chegitz, still angry about the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991?
                        You provide no source. You PROVIDE NOTHING! And yet you want to destroy capitalism.. you criminal..." - Fez

                        "I was hoping for a Communist utopia that would last forever." - Imran Siddiqui

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                        • #13
                          The thing in this debate that gets overlooked is that blacks get the most specific, focused attention of any group. The Native Americans disappeared after the Dawes Act. The Japanese are only mentioned during the internment camps. We have had plenty of minorities, none of whom get as much attention as the African Americans. (For English classes, books about minorities/racism seem to make up at least 40% of the books we have to read). It is right that we focus on black history when major events are going on with them, for instance the civil rights movements, or Blacks during reconstruction, but they should not get specific focused attention ovre any other group. High school has to teach alot of history in a limited time(I have NEVER seen a history class cover the full extent of time it was supposed too, not even in AP European History), so it should not waste time looking at every specific group.
                          "I'm moving to the Left" - Lancer

                          "I imagine the neighbors on your right are estatic." - Slowwhand

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                          • #14
                            They could use People's History of the US, as a text. It covers everyone through the whole of their history in the US.
                            Christianity: The belief that a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree...

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                            • #15
                              So are we in Philly learning more black history than people in other parts of the country? It is messed up though that we don't learn much of anything concerning Europe. In 10th grade World Cultures, we did a little about Rome then jumped to Elizabethan England and that was it.


                              Andrew1999:

                              What school did you go to?
                              "Flutie was better than Kelly, Elway, Esiason and Cunningham." - Ben Kenobi
                              "I have nothing against Wilson, but he's nowhere near the same calibre of QB as Flutie. Flutie threw for 5k+ yards in the CFL." -Ben Kenobi

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