“It’s weak to seek and blame somebody else when you destroy yourself; First nothing worst than the mother’s pain of a son slain in Bensonhurst .” Public Enemy, Welcome to the Terrordome, 1990
This past September 15th marked the 50th anniversary of the single most grotesque event in America’s history. The bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama killed four little girls minutes before Sunday school was about to start.
I wonder how many of our kids on any level was aware of the anniversary or even know about this terrorist event? You would think such an act, which galvanized many from all walks of life to push for civil rights legislation, would be a huge element of education lesson plans rather than two sentences in a six hundred plus page text-book.
If it’s even in any book at all, text or library. How about any acknowledgement of Denise McNair, Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson, or Cynthia Wesley inside your community school district? Poster? Flyer? Maybe, maybe not. One was eleven years old, the other three fourteen years old which meant all were of school age.
Yet we don’t even want to encourage what real education is about: discussion & dialogue. There are even those who feel this past is “divisive” learning and not needed in the curriculum of future generations. If that is the case show up at the next board of education meeting and ask why. Let school administrators know running away from the past doesn’t prevent history repeating itself. It only affirms a leadership unprepared to lead.
Every young person has a right to his or her history, the triumph and the travesty.
“Signed…An Educated Brother!“