Watching 60 minutes with Nate Parker as he talks about ‘The Birth of a Nation’ and how even though he grew up 30 minutes away from where Nat Turner’s revolt took place, he learned nothing about it in school. I think about how growing up 30 minutes from Nashville, we didn’t learn about the sit-ins. Not in my public schools. If that was taught in Tennessee History, I honestly don’t recall it. I remember Davy Crockett. I know the state bird. I don’t remember being taught what went on at Woolworth’s downtown.
Nashville was an instrumental part of the civil rights movement and we’re not taught that. Why?
You hear these parents in Texas talking about “revisionary” history when schools start painting an accurate portrait of the Civil War, so they change the textbook. I believe Dickson County is one of the best public school systems in the state, and yet we didn’t learn about the Civil Rights struggle that happened right down the road in Nashville, Tennessee.
And I know, I had the good teachers. I was always in the honors, the advanced placement, the smart people classes. We didn’t learn it.
Which is why there’s a such thing as African-American history (which I would love to go back to school and major in, by the way). Enraged white people get so angry over this concept when the reality is all of American history is white people history — because we’ve sanitized it. We have to teach separate courses for real, raw, accurate representation of what happened — and that’s wrong.
You can’t preach against “revising history” while we’re still leaving large parts of accurate history out of classroom recounting. There are textbooks in Texas that lay claim to the Civil War being over everything other than what it was actually about. It’s hard for white people to pretend that there is no systemic bias in society when we don’t even tell the truth in our classrooms.
What are you so offended by, white people? Your own history?