Not Just One Man
With all of the news stories on NCLB burning up the presses, I could choose to add to the rant about the failing schools in America and the failing system that has brought us to this point. But, honestly, that is not what's on my mind. I am far more frustrated with the onslaught of emails I get this time of year from other teachers, administrators, and even organizations urging me to teacher about ONE man. All throughout January, and now during "Black History Month," teachers are heavily pressured to stop whatever lesson or unit they are currently teaching and teach about Martin Luther King, Jr. for a day, or a week, or even a month. It needs to stop!
Now, please do not misunderstand me. I am not against teaching about MLK, JR., nor am I suggesting that Black History Month should not be recognized. What I am encouraging, however, is that ALL history (Black, Hispanic, Female, etc...) is taught ALL of the time. And, even more importantly, since when does ONE man change the world by himself? In my humble opinion, it takes the masses to move the mountains. Granted, MLK took the lead and said what needed to be said in America at the time, but the average Americans (black and white, young and old, male and female) that stood up with him and fought the day-to-day battles are the ones we should celebrate.
More importantly, according to my plan to cover as much World History as possible this year, my students are now learning about the imperialism of the 1800s and the "scramble for Africa." In this lesson, we learn how the ideas of superiority permeated the "civilized world" to the point that only WHITE MEN were created equal. All else paid the price for their genetic misfortune. And while I may not stop and say, "This is a lesson which fits into 'Black History Month'," I say, "This is a lesson that fits into the history of our world. A world that has always been, and most likely always will be, a bit skewed in favor of the ONE with the most power currently at hand."
Now... if you would like a lesson on the real HEROES of the Civil Rights Movement, click here!
Or, if you'd rather teach about the Imperialism of the 1800s, click here!
And look around my store for many other items on both topics for World and U.S. History!