I tried to come up with a clever title for this post but Solomon Jones’ Philadelphia Inquirer headline was too good not to steal. In his opinion piece he states…
By refusing to share the pain of our experiences with race in America, older blacks have failed the younger generation.
It is a truth that I have long struggled with, but one I can no longer ignore.
This is not the white man’s fault. It’s ours.
Our elders have spent too much time trying to outrun our past. Or worse, they’ve been taught to ignore it.
I shared a similar quote from my post on Ethel Payne that went like this…
Ours was a generation which spanned the time when black bodies were on the line and as we struggled to send our children to college, we forgot to tell them about our past.
Next month will be the 100th anniversary of the 1917 Chester Riots. A few of us have been talking about doing something to commemorate the inauspicious occasion if only to remind young folks that it happened and to unearth any lessons that can be learned from it. It appears there were a few others with the same idea who actually did something about it as featured on Delcotimes.com…
Symbolizing laying down in traffic for non-violent resistance, Chester students acted out what they learned about civil rights over the course of a week in downtown Chester. This was all part of the Chester Meets the Arts: Humanities Summer Camp, a collaboration between the city, Chester Made, Widener University and the Pennsylvania Humanities Council to implore the students to study and apply what they learned artistically.
I recently heard someone say that this generation understood there was a problem once upon a time, then came Dr. Martin Luther King to fix the problem, then everything was okay.
I expect there will and should be more effort to connect young people with the history they don’t receive in school. It can be better presented, retained, consumed, and comprehended using the tools of today coupled with the knowledge of yesterday than it can from sitting in a cold hard desk reading from a text book.
Let’s get creative to teach young minds old stuff. It will benefit us all.