Opinion | Erasing Black History Is Not the Role of the College Board

I thought about the Florida teachers I spoke to in recent days who were asked for the first time to record and report their Black History Month activities to administrators. I think about the bravery of Kenneth McElroy, a middle school black civics teacher in the Tampa area who told me he has no plans to stop sharing facts about the nation’s history. with your students, regardless of state law.

“I come from Martin Luther King and Malcolm X,” Mr. Elroy said. “I will not change the way I teach.” Martha Elena Galindo, another educator in the Tampa area, described a hostile environment for black and transgender students. “’Ma’am, we’re not bad people,’” she recalls one day a transgender student told her. “It brought me to tears,” she said.

The College Board could have sent a powerful message by standing with these Americans. Instead, its gesture at the accommodation threw them under the bus, along with the bell hook. A basic reading of historic council officials saying they are champion will make it clear that such accommodation will not please anyone.

The question now is whether the majority of Americans in the middle, and at institutions like the College Board, can see the backlash clearly, not as some kind of culture war, but as blood circuit of anti-democracy, sometimes violent political movements gain currency in the United States.

Black history is a direct threat to this movement. It clones slaves and their descendants. It shows the terrible cost of white supremacy, not just for black Americans but for the nation as a whole. It opens the door to the exact calculation that makes interracial alliances possible, revitalizes democracy and pluralism, and disarms those who will become become a tyrant.

The point is that looking directly into history this is a prospect that terrifies many white Americans. Looking at the exhibits at the National Museum of African American History and Culture – including instruments played by slaves and chains for young children – it’s not hard to see why. But the way forward is to face this history, not to mold it to our will, or vindicate it, or wish it to disappear.

It’s no coincidence that Black writers are being attacked, like Mr. Coates and Ms. hooks, fought to not allow America to forget. “Now is the time to remember,” she wrote. “Now is the time for a passionate hegemonic talk of remembrance and protest. All our words are necessary.”


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