Black History is history that should be taught to everyone. No matter how uncomfortable it may be. There is a saying that “If you don’t learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it”. Now, as a Black Female, I’m not here to lecture. Writing on this subject is very complex, but it’s ironic I’m writing this as I’m taking an African American Studies currently at Moorpark College. This comes from a mom’s perspective of why it’s so important. 

Black History

One of the things that Black History teaches our children is to not only stand up for those who aren’t being treated fairly but it also teaches how we have benefitted as a society from historic movements.  

One major example is the Civil Rights Movement within the US. When you fully dive into who joined with the movement, the reasons for the movement, and how it wasn’t just to benefit Black folks, but the disabled, underemployed, and disadvantaged, it gives a new view on why making sure we teach Black History fully. I know for some one issue if the graphic details of what our children see and learn about. 

The thing about that argument is realizing our children see more than we think. Now am I saying that looking at deceased people is ok? Not at all. It’s taking the responsibility to explain how we got here and how to not make the same mistakes. On the other end of history, we do a disservice not teaching the positives of why this movement needed to happen and continues to this very day. 

Example, prior to the movement of the Black Panthers, free breakfasts or lunches weren’t a discussion. If you were unemployed or poor, you were just on your own. Now, of course, the Panthers started in Oakland and spread throughout the US, but they were hated as a social political group. The free breakfast/lunch program was started by this group, and benefitted not only Black inner-city students, but eventually anyone who couldn’t afford to pay for something that seems like common sense. We, in California, took that a step further by offering this to everyone who attends k-12 schools, no questions asked.  

Not teaching about this is a great way for future generations to not take the simple things seriously. Black History benefits everyone. Understanding that chattel slavery was horrible. Understanding the social construction of race and stereotypes does not benefit anyone in society. Learning that not only being different is great, but respecting what differences are brought to the table helps everyone. Learning what happened in the past helps future generations to correct what we do as a society to treat everyone with equality and equity. 

“We need to reframe the stance of being a melting pot. It means to assimilate to one big pot to conform. It erases the culture and history of other groups. We need to be more like tossed salad. Each vegetable brings greatness to the bowl to make the salad beautiful and rich based on being different. The goal of this country being the project it has the potential to be is being that tossed salad. Not erasing culture and history. You learn to respect both, embrace both, pass down the lessons and history so no one forgets and that future generations have something to be proud of”. – Oliver Adams Jr. 

If we as mothers can start looking as Black History that way, the good, bad, and ugly, our children, and their children will benefit from it all. It then becomes American History, not an elective but what is needed to be a productive human being. 


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