Saturday, February 12, 2005

Things To Do For Black History Month Day 12

Things To Do For Black History Month Day 12: Take An African-American Studies/History Course

This one seems like a no brainer, doesn't it? I think that everyone should take at least one such course in their high school or college career if they can. Why? It will open your eyes. Even if you think you know everything there is to know about black history, there is a lot of it that is not taught. I took several different classes over the course of my college years and I am happy that I did. Never did I learn about slavery and Reconstruction in as much depth as I did when I took African-American History. That class put it all into perspective. When I took a African-American Studies course called Black Leadership Debates, I learned about some prominent African-Americans I didn't know before. For example, I had never heard of Adam Clayton Powell until I took that course. And of course, my eyes were opened to a whole portion of African-American literature I never knew in my Comparitive Literature class on black speculative fiction (a course that inspired this earlier TTDFBHM post).

When I took these classes, there was a variety of people in them. If you are not black, there should be nothing keeping you from taking one of these courses. You should not feel weird, scared, or ashamed to take a course like this. The classes are not all about blaming white people for all the problems inherent in the African-American community. In fact, these courses showed me how complex the problems of the past and present really are.

So, I hope you will take an African-American Studies/History course in the future if your school offers one. There is a lot more to Black History than what is even taught during this month.

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