I stopped learning anything new about Black history when I entered 10th grade.
The most I would learn about Black history was about slavery or the Civil Rights Movement in my history classes, but that would be a repeat of what we had learned in previous grades.
Sometimes, if we were lucky, during February, someone would give a random Black history fact over the intercom.
I do not know if it was intentional or if it was just pushed to the side because of the requirements the schools needed to meet, but I know that outside of history, none of my teachers taught about Black culture.
My mom would always encourage me to know my history, but where was I going to learn it? It was not in the classroom because there was some other topic of history that was more important. It was not at home because I was young, and I cared more about the new episode of my favorite show.
It was not until I entered college that I began to learn more about Black
history. I did not learn these facts from a class or a teacher, but instead from actively searching online.
Students should not rely on school to teach them about different cultures because it might not happen.
They should rely on themselves and do research.
It does not have to be structured like a classroom where students research a topic and then write notes on it. Instead, students can have fun with these learning opportunities and attend engaging events.
At UNA, there are many opportunities to learn about Black history and culture. Students can attend the event Being Black in White Spaces Feb. 8 at 5:30 p.m.
“This keynote will offer students practical lessons to hone the tools they need to thrive during their college experience and beyond,” according to the event description.
For students who want to participate in an exhibit tour, the Sankofa African-American Museum on Wheels will be on campus Feb. 12 and 13. To read more about this event, go to page 7.
However, just because these opportunities are more prominent in February, it does not mean this is the only time people should learn about Black history or the history of any other culture.
Black history is more than a month. Hispanic history is more than a month. Learning history should not be delegated to just one month.
Students should be active learners and take advantage of the
opportunities to learn about different cultures throughout the entire year.