The Existence of Racism in High School History Classes
In all four years I went to high school, I only had one history class that discussed black history. The textbook talked about the Civil Rights Movement, but did not talk about any other achievements of black people. I did not learn much else about black people for the remainder of my time in high school with the exception of Black History Month. During Black History Month, we usually spent a day or two learning the same basic facts about people, like Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks, who have been taught to us since elementary school. This experience is not uncommon. Many schools use textbooks and curriculum that fail to give students a full representation of black history. Due to the fact that schools and textbooks do not effectively address black history, students will not be fully equipped to address issues of racism once they graduate; furthermore, textbooks contribute to ideas of racial inequalities. High school United States (US) History textbooks perpetuate racial stereotypes, create a black-versus-white mentality, and limit the scope of black history. These problems are caused by America’s past issues with racism and need to be fixed by adopting a multicultural approach to the study of history and improving Black History Month.
Lucerna, Vol. 11, January 2017, p. 23-32
Open Access (fully available)
Copyright retained by author