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View Diary: teaching african history - ending stereotypes (45 comments)

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  •  Most racists I know (3+ / 0-)
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    tryptamine, Nulwee, Rex Manning

    get it from one or a combination of 1) parents, 2) lack of exposure to black folk, 3) peers while growing up, and 4) lack of adaptiveness as adults.

    If I had a dime for those that say it's all because "the history of Sub-Sahara Africa" proves they're unworthy, I wouldn't have a dime. You could teach students that Africa was heaven on earth back in the day, and the racists wouldn't care.

    Hell, most of the WHITES I know in Florida are hunter/gatherers to one extent or another.  

    The stereotypes one better worry about for blacks are the ones being created TODAY in the media. History will take care of itself.

    So much there is I do not need.

    by valion on Sun Feb 25, 2007 at 07:49:27 PM PST

    •  If they had a much much better understanding (3+ / 0-)
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      Nulwee, Rex Manning, valion

      of Africa's true history, it would (at the very least) challenge most racists' views.  If more people had an understanding of not only Africa's history but black history in general, I think we'd go a long way toward eradicating racism.  Knowing the history of a people means better understanding how those people came to be where they are today.

      •  I majored in History. (1+ / 0-)
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        I wish folks in general had a LOT better grounding in history than they do -- including Africa. But I get a little skittish when folks start talking about "true history".  Those two words have a tense relationship.

        I challenge racists views frequently, but African history is not the starting point. The vessel only holds so much, and stressing African history to cure today's ills is like trying to explain Al Capone by studying the history of Sicily:  you can get there, but you've lost your audience.

        Moreover, in all cultures, you start rooting around in history, you come up with a bunch of unflattering stuff, which an objective teacher must present. You tell me: will this hurt or help the fight against the  stereotypes you resent?

        So much there is I do not need.

        by valion on Sun Feb 25, 2007 at 10:28:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  True, but (0+ / 0-)

          the choice as presented in the legislation is not no history or bad history, it is no history or a little bit of history.  Ideally, I think all the history of all continents should be taught, good and bad, but for now we can at least correct the pathetic absence of any African history by showing that Africans through history weren't all uncivilized brutes.  

          I never said that teaching African history was "the" starting point for challenging racists, just that it could be one of them.

          Also, I see your point about "true history," though I figured it was apparent that I didn't mean something like you suggest.

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