The history of America is tied to the history of the world. This history is complex and at times difficult to hear.
Our country's history is marred in violence, innovation, and triumphs. There is a great amount of discussion going on now about whether to teach what has been coined as Critical Race Theory. Children are taught various topics about American history, but as many of you will remember, there is not a great deal of African American history taught to children. There is also not much, if any, history taught that discusses American slavery and the effects of racism, from what I remember.
With domestic terrorism at the hands of White Americans one of the most dangerous potential acts to our homeland, why do we not want to study why White Americans are so angry? What is "white rage" to you? Black families have been teaching their children about American slavery, racism, civil rights, and the fight for equality for years. Are White families doing the same, and if not, why not?
Teaching young White kids and Black kids about American slavery, racism, and equality is important to raising a well-rounded person. Black people are not looking to put blame on 12- to 18-year-old White children for atrocities committed during slavery and the civil rights area. We want our children who are friends with White children to never again have to deal with such a history. We want all children to understand why the actions of those in the past do not have to be the actions of those in the future.
Those who think teaching kids about the checkered past of America will make them feel less a part of the current American society are wrong. The same images of White people yelling at young girls who were trying to integrate schools are some of the similar images we see today of White people yelling at the mention of Black advancement. If this is not you, you should not be worried.
Black history is not all about slavery. The culture of Black people is amazing. The history of Africa is breathtaking. The fight for equality in America is an American story and should be told to all. We should not shelter our children from the American history. As we teach about England, we should teach about Africa. We should show children the many achievements that came out of Africa - the wars, the violence against warring tribes, the education provided to other countries from Africans, and the history of kings, queens, scholars, architects, and farmers. Slavery covers less than 300 years of Black Americans history. Our history can be traced to the original people documented on Earth. Some Black Americans will continue to teach children about race, racism, and respect for other cultures. We need more White Americans to embrace their history and grapple with it as we have had to. Although slavery by White and Native Americans is in the past of Black Americans, slavery in Africa is where most of the Black people were sold to those who brought them to America and other continents.
Teaching history doesn't have to make you feel bad. It should make you feel better that you are no longer thinking the way oppressors did. As kids grow up, they can become violent or can become great unifiers. Teaching this history may bring our country together more than divide it. I will continue to teach my children about the history of people who look like them and people who do not. Will you?
Corey Carolina is an NSU graduate, North Tulsa entrepreneur and activist, and owner of Carolina Food Co.