Critical Race Theory

Stephen Sawchuck wrote in Education Week. Critical race theory is an academic concept that is more than 40 years old. The core idea is that race is a social construct and that racism is not merely the product of individual bias or prejudice but also something embedded in legal systems and policies.

Why would any level-headed person not want this to be taught in our education system? To keep the narrative that our history was a bed of roses? I read about a mother who doesn’t want her children to learn about bad things. Of course, her social media is exploding. Really? Systemic racism is built into our country. It doesn’t talk about the fact that racism and race are real. If we don’t have these conversations in school, how do we expect our children to?

This past weekend we watched the film Sankofa. Sankofa was made by a Howard film professor, Haile Gerima, and his wife. The film never received significant recognition, so they decided to self distribute. Thanks to Ava DuVeerenay, who restored the 1993 film, you can currently watch it on Netflix.

The story is about an American model at a photoshoot on the beaches of Ghana. She slips back in time, becoming enslaved on a plantation. She witnesses such agony and pain of her ancestors. It is the first film that I have seen entirely from the eyes of slaves. It is an incredible film.

We should all watch this film. It is an essential part of all of our history. Our history is embedded in systematic racism. The time is ripe to educate the next generation about every awful thing in our past. It is the only way to move forward. Our history connects with our future, and for each of us, that is a different journey.

Shielding kids from reality is not how we move forward as a society.