Black History in Schools-Teach or not to teach.

Black Dancers enjoy themselves
Black dancers enjoy themselves

I recently found a blog of a black teacher from London. She seemed opposed to the idea that black history could solve some of the under achievement problems in inner cities. Whilst it certainly doesn’t seem to be an answer all by itself, the integral teaching of black achievement is certainly important in creating positive self image in black youngsters.

The real question for me lies between segregationists and separatists as to the context that black history is delivered or portrayed. Is it to be delivered as part of National histories, is African history to be separated from world history? Is it right to teach black history with an aim of using it as an integration tool, thus creating more integrated western citizens?There are those that believe that black history should be used as evidence to strengthen a separate black consciousness.

I wonder if such a conscious awakening could be created what would be the immediate pro’s and cons, and how would it affect the multi ethnic societies in which we all live?

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2 thoughts on “Black History in Schools-Teach or not to teach.

  • 7th October 2010 at 2:36 pm

    Interesting questions!

    I don’t see why it should be mutually exclusive.

    Learning about black history should not exclude learning about white history, nor vice versa.
    But often the latter occurs so because of that I do believe that if I had children and there was a school available that placed particular focus on black history I would like for them to go there.

    I think learning about achievements of others like you is motivating.

  • 13th October 2010 at 5:22 am

    Theorists since Ngugi’s brilliant work on colonial education in Kenya have shown that learning about the achievements and culture of those similar to them is highly beneficial for children’s positive self-image. Of course ‘white’ history should always be taught but there should be more effort to highlight alternative or minority histories – otherwise, as Ngugi would say, the child learns to see him/herself through the eyes of the ‘other’. And in British history, that has not always been a positive perspective on blacks.


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