Virginia principal apologizes after students told to act like "runaway slaves" during a gym game
I need to start by getting something off my chest as we continue to celebrate Black History. And, I want to note that on Talking with T, we celebrate our history every week. However, like many, we put a particular emphasis put on the contributions of African Americans through this month of February. Far too often, educators come up in the media with insensitive and demeaning lessons or activities related in an attempt to create a perception of African Americans and their culture or the past. This past week, A principal of an elementary school in Virginia is now apologizing after students were told during a gym exercise to act like runaway slaves for Black History Month (read the article). So, first of all I might understand simulation exercises to create empathy, but slavery was not a game. It was not a joke and certainly wasn’t entertaining. Furthermore (dear EDUCATOR), African American history is much more than the slave trade. In fact, that is AMERICAN history. It was dark, ugly and dehumanizing. The history we need to highlight and celebrate are the contributions, inventions and innovations of black people. Not to dismiss the painful and horrific incidents that lace the past and path of African Americans, but balance it all into one brilliant collage of determination, tenacity, fortitude, survival, intelligence, splendor and inspiring stories that is OUR HISTORY.
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