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Black History Should Be Taught Every Month, Say Teachers

A photo taken in Melbourne on October 8, 2018, shows a man walking past a giant mural of Australian runner Peter Norman with US sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos. (Photo by William WEST/AFP/Getty Images)
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Black History Month, celebrated every February, was started by a group of educators and students at Ohio's Kent State University in 1969.

Now, some teachers throughout the country use Black History Month as an opportunity to cover material left out of standard curricula.

Malcolm Green taught high school social science in the Pomona Unified School District for 40 years, and ran a mentoring program for African American students for half that time. He said that ignoring the contributions of Black Americans instills a sense of superiority among white students, and a feeling of inferiority among Black students.

“When I was in school,” recalled Green, “the only thing I really learned about Black history was that the slaves ran away, Abraham Lincoln freed them. And there was Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass, and that was the extent of it. It was so much more than that.”

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Green says there's no harm in observing Black History Month, but Black history should be incorporated into curricula year round.