Kerry Washington Plans To Change How We Teach Kids Black History
The Black Lives Matter protests are forcing Americans to change the way they look at US history. And Kerry Washington is one of them too. She is especially concerned about black history in the United States. As a result, she wants to change the way we should teach kids about black history. But, she wants to begin this change with her own kids.
Kerry Washington wants to change the way black history is taught
In her interview from home with Jerry Kimmel Live, Washington opened up about her thoughts on the state of the United States. Firstly, she mentioned how privileged some people are who discover racism instead of living it.
There’s a lot of posts about privilege looks like discovering that racism exists as opposed to knowing that it exists. So, I think for a lot of black families, we don’t have the privilege of ignoring what’s going on and pretending that it’s not happening.
However, it’s education about black history that is keeping Kerry Washington up at night. She said we shouldn’t start teaching black history just from black history month:
I’ve been thinking a lot about education and a lot about talking about race and introducing ideas of race. And really thinking about the idea that for a lot of kids—kids are introduced to race at Black History Month or in the concept of change-makers like Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks.” And I think it’s really important that we start to introduce the idea of race with a Black History that begins before teaching kids what black people were told they couldn’t do, right?
Furthermore, Washington said that the richness of black history and the centuries of torture should also be taught. It shouldn’t just begin from a black history month about the tipping point with Civil Rights and Jim Crow:
But this idea of teaching kids that Black History and Black people were a lot of things before segregation and Jim Crow and the Civil Rights Movement. So that we understand the beautiful complexity and elegance and richness of Black History before refusing to be put in the back of the bus.
She wants us to not just be a passenger of democracy
Other than black history, Kerry Washington also shared her views on democracy. She believes that we shouldn’t just be passengers, but actively protest too:
I think for a long time people thought you could just be a passenger on this train called democracy. But that’s not how it works. Like, democracy works if we all show up and we all express our values whether it’s voting or in the streets protesting. That is what democracy looks like. So, it’s like we’re living up to who we—we were supposed to be this all along.
With the recent murder of George Floyd, it shows how important it is for Americans to get out and protest. Racism is systemically engrained in the United States. And without protests, there’s no hope of rooting it out. That is the message Kerry Washington wants to give. You can watch her full interview here: