Anti-Racist Curriculum: How to Talk to Your Kids About Black History
As protestors cried for racial justice across the United States this year, it became clear that it was time for families to sit down and have some hard conversations about the history of our nation. When Civil War statues were removed from public parks, educators were forced to think about whose legacies they are teaching children to celebrate and honor. It's about time for our children's education system to get a refresh—one that leads with cultural and historical accuracy about America's heritage.
On September 17, 2020, President Donald Trump announced his plans for a new commission to introduce a "patriotic education" in U.S. schools to "reclaim our history, and our country, for citizens of every race, color, religion, and creed." In his first day in office, President Joe Biden revoked Trump's 1776 Commission, but more needs to be done.
We believe the best way to reclaim our history and get to a place of true American pride is not to ignore the dark moments of our country's past, but rather to teach them to our children in a way that guides them to strive for better. We need to raise the next generations to understand the mistakes of those who came before them so they together can create a better, brighter future.
Here, we bring you continuing guidance from experts and historians on how all grownups—moms, dads, and school teachers alike—can talk to children about the topics affecting Black American history, which are so often left out of or reframed in school curriculums. Improving our children's education by introducing the facts in a way kids can understand will help us raise the next generation to be anti-racist.
We're Measuring Success in Schools All Wrong—and It's Penalizing the MarginalizedThe pandemic has been a major obstacle for schools, but how we measure student success could be the underlying problem that continues to hold kids—especially the underprivileged—back.
The Tulsa Race Massacre Isn't Taught in Many Schools, But it Should BeClassroom lessons mention abolishing slavery in 1865, but to understand the lasting impact of slavery and the systemic racism still facing Black Americans, stories of horrific moments in our nation's history like this one need to be told. Here's how to do it.
Our Students Need Culturally Relevant Education—It Starts With Training TeachersAs a Black teacher in a world of white-centered curricula, I know that culturally relevant education with equity and inclusion in mind can create a generation of inclusive children, but in order to achieve it, we need to rethink how we train our teachers.
How To Explain the Myth of the Free North to ChildrenIn history class, most kids learn about the Civil War in terms of the free North and the slaveholding South, but there is far more to the reality of what America looked like for Black people during the war and in the decades that followed. It's time we teach that truth.
The Harlem Renaissance Was a Pivotal Moment in American Culture—We Need To Teach It That WayThe period when the creative innovations of Black Americans became recognized for the first time needs to be integrated into lessons on art, history, and literature in the U.S. school system.
How to Teach the History of Racism in Science ClassIn order to end the racial disparities that exist in our health care system, we need to teach children about our country's history with medical apartheid. It can start in science class.
Illustration by Emma Darvick