Black History is American history. Whether or not our schools are teaching it as such we have a responsibility to do so in our homes in order to raise well-informed children.
Beyonce’s Super Bowl 50 performance became a trending topic on Facebook for her “homage to the Black Panther Party”. Curiously I read some of the statuses. I, a Black woman who has done some reading on American history know that the Black Panther Party was not a hate group but a group that sought to address the needs and concerns of an underserved community and provide a voice for the millions who were tired of being silenced and unheard.
However, many of the comments I came across compared the Black Panther Party to the infamous terroristic, hate group, the KKK. I realized after reading the comments that what Beyonce did was bigger than a performance or tour promotion. Her Super Bowl Halftime Show provoked a necessary conversation.
For so long, so many have passively agreed to believe in a smear campaign that demonizes efforts to uplift and unify the Black community, whether it be through tarnishing the reputation of leaders in the Black Panther Party or attacking the motives behind the Black Lives Matter movement.
Black history is American history. There is power, strength and unity in the education of American history. There must be the drive and willingness to understand American history even when we can’t recognize ourselves in it because we can’t separate ourselves from it either.
Black plight in American society is interwoven with the same threads that make up white privilege. There are lessons to be learned from both sides. The groups that make up American society– from Black to white, Muslim to Christian, Mexican to Asian, all are interconnected and together account for so many of the positive contributions in this world. Take pride in that, teach inclusive history and respect the power of a “United” States of America.