Segregated | Teen Ink


December 8, 2007
By Anonymous

How many of you have heard of Colin Powell? Not that many, ok. What about Condoleezza Rice? Still not that many? Well, try to name one black successful leader that doesn’t have anything to do with sports and is not learned about in school. Can’t name one, then we have a problem. It’s hard for most well educated African- American students going to public schools that don’t teach history about prominent African- American leaders. Sometimes, I feel that the school systems are segregated on that particular subject and that Black history doesn’t really matter in America. They are wrong! Blacks have made just as much of a difference than whites and if it wasn’t for a black man to stand up and fight for freedom; the war between America and Iraq would be between blacks and whites.

My history class has hung up posters of Elvis and John Wayne all over the wall. Now if this is a history class, where are people like Martin Luther King Jr., Huey P. Newton, Frederick Douglass, Malcolm X, Condoleezza Rice, Barack Obama, or even besides John Wayne how about a famous black cowboy named Bill Picket. There are so many blacks that schools have the ability to teach about, but they just refuse to. So African-American children have to teach there history with there families. My history teacher does not have one picture or poster of a famous African- American leader. It’s a challenge but I’m not going to let it go that easy.

I remember asking my English teacher about black history teachings at schools and she told me these powerful words, “T.J., out of all the African- American students I have, you are the only one who actually cared about learning black history.”
I WAS OUTRAGED. It’s like we don’t even care about all the things our leaders did to help us get our freedom and become educated individuals. AND I’M STILL NOT GOING TO LET IT GO THAT EASY! My plan is to encourage more teachers to the subject of teaching black history and I hope I have a positive outcome. I also understand that it’s not the teachers that make the decisions on what to teach, it’s the curriculum. But the curriculum has a lack of equality.

Finally, I would like to address the only blacks that we ever talk about are athletes. If you don’t believe me check our library. A good 90% of black stories have something to do with sports. Not society, politics, or education, but sports. It always has something to do with sports. Blacks have been making history in sports since Jackie Robinson paved the way for us to play them equally with whites. If you want to talk about a black leader, tell about the ones who made a difference in Society and Politics and who is still making a difference as we speak. Then, the schools attempt to talk about Nelson Mandela and not give us all the facts. I read some things that can change the lives of blacks. So why can’t we talk about those things besides putting the white man over the world.

Black history is American History; we belong here to, in the books. Its important to me, it should be important to you.
P.S. An African-American woman named Valerie Daniels Carter leads the Countries largest African-American owned franchise, “Burger King”. In the year 2002, she owned 61 Pizza Huts and 140 Burger Kings.
One more person is Dr. Mensaw. An intelligent African-American man. If it wasn’t for him, we wouldn’t be able to send text messages and talk through them without a wire on our cell phones. He created the copper wire to enable the advanced technology. See, black history is occurring everyday, so why can’t we teach it.


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This article has 1 comment.

val123 said...
on May. 6 2009 at 12:05 am
I truly hate to give negative feedback, but I think that the majority of Americans can say that they know powerful people in our country such as Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice. I don't know about your textbooks, but mine have always shown an extensive review and appreciation towards Black History. If anything, the only type of civil right's history that I ever read in textbooks are from White and Black Americans. Never do I hear of prominent Hispanic or Asian leaders. I'm sorry, but claiming that Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X isn't taught sufficiently in class is simply unbelievable. Black history is important, because it was a crucial period of civil right's within our country. However, what I would like to know is why no one EVER even THINKS about other cultural breakthroughs within our country. I don't know, I think it'd be educational and informative. No harm meant though, your essay was well-written and poignant, I just happened to not agree.

P.S: About black people only being famous because of sports? Hispanics are known for crossing the Rio Grande, or the oh-so-popular question "Oh you are Colombian. So do you have a stash in your basement or something?" Yeah, not cool.