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It’s no secret: American homeschoolers are predominantly white. And as white folks, there is a lot about black history that we do not know and do not understand.
Our history books are primarily written by white authors and feature the white perspective of history. Despite the fact that the history and perspective of all Americans is what makes the complete story, we often only get the white pieces and just a few of the other ones.
In the world of the arts, one could easily come to the conclusion that such things were solely the domain of White Men, forever and ever. Yet I have discovered prominent women artists from as far back as the Renaissance. I’ve discovered Black composers that pre-date Mozart. I researched and found many beautiful works of art featuring Black people that are normally overlooked. (Get it here) Men and women of so many races and nationalities have been creating, inventing, and exploring since time began! But you’d never know it, would you?
There seems to be a lot of pressure to Not Mess It Up when talking about race issues, yet it also seems that there is always somebody willing to point out how it’s been done wrong. It has been intimidating to me to see how much criticism there is for people that are Doing It Wrong when they dare to bring up race issues. My attempts may be clumsy. I am not an expert on this. However, I believe that this is important, so I’m talking about it. Hopefully you all can hear my intent to be an encouragement in this periscope broadcast I did.
The two biggest reasons I know of to make sure we’re learning about and teaching black history in our homeschools:
- It isn’t just “Black History.” It’s History. A wider, true, more well-rounded version, particularly important for Americans. (making it a priority to learn about the experiences of other non-white-male perspectives will also make your knowledge of history truer, wider, and more well-rounded! Women’s history, Native American history, immigrants from everywhere, and so on)
- Understanding Black History helps us have a somewhat better understanding of current events and racial issues today. It’s related. And it matters.
- This is one way I can help fight racism. I forgot to talk about this on the scope, but it matters to me very much that my children go out into the world as a force for good, and that includes fighting racism. As homeschoolers in our area of the country, we don’t often have local opportunities to be activists, but I can at least continue to make myself and my children aware of things that are going on and things that have gone on throughout history, in an effort to not repeat history and to make this world a better place going forward.
Resources that may be helpful to you:
Racial Disparity at Traffic Stops
The Case Against Woodrow Wilson at Princeton
How to Be a Racial Accomplice in Only 80 Easy Steps
Austin Channing’s Blog: Lots here, including a series for Black History Month.
Fifth Third Bank to Pay $18 Million Settlement For Charging Black Customers More Interest For Loans
Learn more about The Negro Traveler’s Green Book, a publication that provided African American motorists and tourists with the information they would need to board, dine, and sightsee safely and comfortably during the era of segregation. More on the Green Book here.
Courageous Black Lives series at Caris Adel’s blog:
Benjamin Banneker and Music from Slavery
Mifflin Gibbs and Lucille Clifton
We love this blog post.
As a homeschooling African American mom and a White dad, we don’t always get it right either. The fact that we are willing to learn and talk about OUR history from different perspectives is a giant step in the right direction.
Thank you for the blacks in art study. I’ve pinned several of them around the house. They definitely spark conversation. I’m off to buy the jazz study as we will be covering the Harlem Renaissance next week.
Thanks Shonnon! I appreciate your feedback and am so glad that you are already enjoying the Celebrating Blacks in Art fine art pages. Awesome! I think you’ll love the Jazz collection too. 🙂
Erica Brilliant! Well done! You have chosen your words very correctly here, and you have spoken the truth! Thank you very much for speaking out! You did very well!
Thank you, Nicole! I appreciate your encouragement!
Thank you so much for this! As the mother of a multi-ethnic family, this has been a real struggle for us. Thank you for your vulnerability and transparency!
Hi April! I’m sorry that I didn’t see this earlier. I’m glad you found us and that this post was helpful to you. I look forward to getting to know you more!