Discussion response of the Black experience then and now

Learning Goal: I’m working on a african studies discussion question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.

Respond to this discussion:

This piece of art, titled Critical Race Theory, was created by the Detroit artist Jonathan Harris. It is a very strikingly effective piece, as it shows a white blond figure who is trying to cover up the images of Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman, and Malcolm X with her white paint roller. It was created when our country became embroiled in the debate over critical race theory, with lots of people arguing against teaching race because it inherently teaches racism. However, the truth is, by not wanting to teach about race, the fight against racism, etc., these people (mainly white) are essentially trying to erase the importance of Black history. It is so important that we continue to remember and preserve Black history, yet there are so many people trying to whitewash or erase it. I thought this painting really showed the state of our nation right now. So many people are trying to claim race, racism, and our tainted past don’t exist and that we need to “move on” and unify as a nation. However, without highlighting the struggles of Black Americans, or any other marginalized group, we are never going to unify. I find it incredulous that people don’t even want teachers to mention some of these Black leaders or aspects of Black history in the classroom, and in certain parts of the country, a teacher can even lose his/her/their job. As a first grade teacher, I cannot imagine not being able to discuss the concept of race, our history, prejudice, as these all affect not only my students but me personally as well. It just seems that whenever we make a little progress, like with the BLM movement highlighting that the fight for equality and equity is not over, some parts of the country push back in different ways, which is why I chose the title, The Fight Never Ends. Maybe one day we can make peace with our past and not try to erase the past injustices, but until then, it seems that we have a long and arduous fight ahead of us.


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