Readers write



Children should learn the truth of history

I just watched a movie called “The Great Debaters.” The movie documents an African American debate team from a college in Texas who win the national championship against Harvard. There are scenes of brutality by white people against Black people. It reminds me that no matter how many books you try to ban from school libraries or public libraries, there will always be Netflix and Amazon. The brutality of the Jim Crow South has been documented on film for decades. You cannot (and should not) protect your children from learning the truth of history.


Protecting students from past can lead to ignorance

Many years ago, in 1966, I was a freshman in college with a major in English. One of my professors mentioned the importance of Black literature. I raised my hand and asked: “What Black writers have written books that would be considered literature?”

My professor smiled and said: “That would be a good topic for your research paper.” And indeed, it was. For the first time, I was introduced to an amazing array of writers – Maya Angelou, Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, Lorraine Hansberry, Langston Hughes! Were their stories about oppression and struggle? Of course, but also about resilience, courage and hope.

For a while, I was angry with my high school teachers, feeling that they had let me down. But then I realized that it wasn’t their fault. They were teaching the curriculum of a white high school in the early 1960s in the South. Let’s be very careful about how we choose to protect our children. Ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance is just – ignorance.