As the Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action concluded, our next steps in reflecting during Black History Month — especially in the eye of a racist censorship storm led by places such as Florida and institutions such as the College Board in the erasure of Black history and culture — are that much more important.
Our education is under attack no matter which way you look at it. The sinister policies that come from the College Board voiding the work of critically important Black scholars from its curriculum — during Black History Month, no less — is proof enough that they are saying the quiet parts out loud.
There is no American history without Black and Indigenous history. The conservative camp knows that to be true and for far too long have wanted control over the story. We have been force-fed an incomplete, inaccurate, white-washed version of history, and, as we progress and fight to correct those wrongs, the opposition has no choice but to try and silence our knowledge, which they know is powerful.
This year’s Week of Action was proof that, no matter the obstacles, the power in community and collective values will continue to give us strength in the fight. Our voices and our history are not to be cheapened or tokenized, and in the events from BLM@School, our community showed that we are committed to not only celebrating our history but building a future that takes care of us from the beginning.
The demands of BLM@School are: replacing zero-tolerance practices with restorative justice, implementing Ethnic Studies, hiring counselors (not cops) and hiring more Black teachers. These are all pillars of an education system that values and prioritizes the true safety and well-being of all students.
If students go to school without seeing themselves represented in any capacity — or if they don’t have the access or resources to be their authentic selves — there is something severely wrong. What BLM@School does is ensure that in our education system we are uplifting the standard of education to allow for students to thrive, not just survive. We shouldn’t have to beg to be respected and treated as human beings who deserve to have their voices heard.
The fact of the matter is that it only betters all students’ experiences when multiple perspectives and stories are taught.
Read more of the Feb. 22-28, 2023 issue.