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History 101: Black History is American History

Welcome to America! Land of the Free and Home of the Brave! WAIT!!! Land of the Free? I think what they really meant was “Land of the Free WHITE PEOPLE and Home of the Brave WHITE PEOPLE THAT WILL DO ANY AND EVERYTHING IN THEIR POWER TO ENSURE YOU DON’T FORGET THAT!” Much better!

If you’re a white person, you read that first paragraph and probably decided to exit the chat because you don’t have time for a black person to tell you about yourself. But I’m here to remind you that this here blog post is NOT about you! Now that we got that out the way, let’s cut straight to the chase.

As you may or may not know, I’m a high school history teacher — well, my teaching certification expired last year and I’m studying to take the test again but that’s besides the point. To be honest, I never thought I’d ever become a teacher — let alone a history one but I must say, it has been such a rewarding experience. Pair that with a combination of what my father teaches me everyday about my family’s history, America’s history, and the world’s history, I feel like a walking Encyclopedia. HOLD UP!!! DID I JUST AGE MYSELF?! Who even uses an encyclopedia anymore? Do they still make them? — GET BACK ON TRACK LOLA!! 

Anywho, my two favorite subjects to teach are United States History and American Government because my students are always in awe when they realize that what they thought they knew were only half truths. As a history teacher, you know that your goal is not to impose your views on your students but to provide them with ALL the facts so they can make informed opinions and create their own views. That’s the beauty of argumentative essays and debates because you can’t just have a baseless opinion. You need facts to support your stance. 

And that is why I decided to write this post. I didn’t want to focus on the senseless murders of black men and black boys by their oppressors (we’ll save that for another post). I didn’t want to focus on the hurt and pain that I feel each day in my body that has now turned me numb to those senseless murders (we’ll save that for another post). I didn’t want to focus on the fact that I live in fear that one day, I will get a phone call or text message that one of my own brothers was murdered senseless by a police officer — whether or not he committed a crime because we all know people like Dylann Roof and Nikolas Cruz committed MASSACRES and were rewarded with Burger King and freedom from the death penalty (we’ll save that for another post). 

I want this post to focus on how to educate yourself WITH ALL THE FACTS of Black History — which is actually United States History — so you can make informed opinions about black people and not rely on racist media to impose their views on you. The public education system has allowed itself to offer “FREE” education to all students but has controlled the narrative. When you open up a United States History book and flip through to the parts about slavery, racism, and discrimination of “colored” people by the hands of white America, it’s a small excerpt and it’s white washed. That means it favors the oppressors. AND — in the public school curriculum, that section of history is usually saved for the end of the year curriculum IF teachers are even able to get to it but that’s a topic for another day.

One way to educate yourself is by watching movies/documentaries and reading books about black history ESPECIALLY ones by black authors and filmmakers. I mean it only makes sense to learn about us FROM US! The same way juries and judges need to hear both sides of an argument, the same is necessary for you to get an adequate understanding of your black neighbors. With all the time we have at home due to COVID-19, watching one movie a day or one movie a week on the plights of Black America can be a great starting point. 

White people that are aware of their privilege and interested in educating themselves on how to be better and do better towards the black community, start with this list of movies/documentaries. All I ask is that you watch for the sole purpose of edification and not entertainment because it will force you to see things from a different point of view. When done, do some research on what you hear and see in these movies/documentaries to get a better understanding of it. Then we can have a dialogue on the subject. For extra credit, watch them with your children and have a discussion with them. Listen to their interpretations of what they hear and see (don’t impose your views on them) — you’d be surprised at what children understand.

With that being said, here is a list of some movies/documentaries to start your eye-opening journey. I must admit, I personally haven’t seen all these movies but does that really matter — I’m living it so that’s null and void. But I do plan on watching one movie a week, starting with the ones I haven’t seen. Save this list and share it with your friends, family, and colleagues. Education is key.

Until next time,

LOLATHEMANAGER

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