Black History is American History


There is no doubt that Black Americans have played a massive role in the formation of this country.

Teaching students the events of the past allows them to better comprehend the world around them; however, recently, as school curriculums have become more politicized, the content that students are taught is under much more scrutiny. Black history has often been censored to appease parents who believe that their children are being blamed for the horrors of the past committed against Black Americans, or that learning the true impacts of systematic discrimination will lead to their children hating their country. 

Black history materials and curriculums have been challenged throughout the nation, and even here in Pinellas County, where the Disney film Ruby Bridges faced complaints from a parent who opposed the screening of the film. Although the school board voted to continue showing the film, the complaints against teaching students Black History illustrate the ongoing attacks against basic Black History curriculums.

There is no doubt that Black Americans have played a massive role in the formation of this country. Since the revolutionary war, the contributions of Black Americans to the American cause cannot be understated. From Salem Poor to the Tuskegee Airmen, Black Americans have fought continuously for the ideals of America and made great contributions to the overall history of the United States. Black history is American History. Black Americans are still Americans, and regardless of the disturbing true nature of what Black Americans have faced in this Country, it is truly a disservice to ignore or attempt to wash away the years of discrimination that Black Americans have faced despite their loyalty to the ideals of America.  

Students cannot be blamed for actions that occurred years before their birth, but these parents can be blamed for a continued attempt to censor and silence black voices through relentless attacks upon Black History. History is undoubtedly complicated, but lessons can be learned from the past, lessons that students will never receive if history is censored or erased. No matter how uncomfortable history may be, it is critical that it is taught truthfully and correctly. History allows us not to repeat the mistakes of the past, to understand the complex issues of today, and to better empathize with those who are still impacted by historical disenfranchisement. These essential skills of basic empathy and knowledge are lost in censoring or watering down the hard truth. Black History is American history and must remain taught to students to ensure that the mistakes of the past do not become the fate of the future.