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Research

An honest and true history helps to develop self-esteem and identity for children during the developmental years and for individuals as a whole.

When we look into African American history, we see that African Americans helped to build and improve our nation and influenced society as a whole. All people look for ways to improve their self and increase their voice and by learning history, African American students can do just that.

According to Mamer, the history of African Americans dealt with the fact that people felt that Africans should be quiet and educate themselves, leaving the civic rights and other political goals for the whites (Mamer, 2013). This of course, was where African Americans made some of their biggest contributions, by fighting both racially and politically, allowing Africans to share their voice and to not remain quiet. Throughout this fight, they were able to find their identity and work through conflicting social situations that caused there to be an identity struggle.

Another important part of African American history is the fact that much of the behavior was based on greed and that many, if not a majority of whites, were against the shackle slavery legacy. The slave trade gave people political power and wealth and many parts of history remain unknown such as the fact that many of the colleges and universities throughout the United States were established because of African American slaves and the hard work that Africans put into the schools so that all could be educated and so that blacks could have a place to learn, even if under bondage (Smith and Ellis, 2017).

The African American experience might well be appreciated for what it has always been, a commentary on the American experience, making it more difficult to ignore the national contradictions in favor of oversimplified slogans that sometimes pass for national history. This will surely be a more troubling history for most Americans, but it will ultimately be more useful, providing the historical context for contemporary conversations on the nation's most difficult and pressing problems.

Issues of race have defined and still define much of American history and have shaped distinctive parts of American culture. Whatever your stand on the question of reparations or affirmative action, a knowledge of the life, work, suffering, and determined struggle of slaves has great relevance. It provides a different perspective on traditional assumptions about America as a rich country and insight into the historic production of national wealth. It also confronts American national mythmaking in profound ways.

A full and accurate account of American History will shine a honest light on the critical value the Africans provided in the development of America and to the early settlers whose lives literally depended on the protection, and labor of the Africans which is significant to the American History story.

When the heritage, culture and contributions of an entire group of people is not recognized, especially in the educational arena, it sends a message to all students, and that message it, “your contributions don’t matter to this country because you don’t matter to this country, and therefore you don’t matter to me, or within the system which I call my country.” This creates an immediate disrespect for the group being disenfranchised, in this case African Americans. Why are in the 21st Century are African Americans still being disenfranchise, deliberate or non-deliberately? And, what are the consequences to the marginalization of the dreams and hope of the foundering fathers, when they sought a better life and saw America and the land of opportunity. A place where one could live freedom of choice, have inalienable rights, experience equal and fair justice, and have the chance to pursue a better life. Was the declaration of Independence an idea that sounded good at the time or are the high moral values written in that document something a large number of Christian White Men and Women have simply been unable to successful achieve.

Janeane Davie, 2016, When the heritage, culture and contributions of an entire group of people is not recognized, especially in the educational arena, it sends a message to all students, and that message it, “your contributions don’t matter to this country because you don’t matter to this country, and therefore you don’t matter to me, or within the system which I call my country.” This creates an immediate disrespect for the group being disenfranchised, in this case African Americans. Why are in the 21st Century are African Americans still being disenfranchise, deliberate or non-deliberately? And, what are the consequences to the marginalization of the dreams and hope of the foundering fathers, when they sought a better life and saw America and the land of opportunity. A place where one could live freedom of choice, have inalienable rights, experience equal and fair justice, and have the chance to pursue a better life. Was the declaration of Independence an idea that sounded good at the time or are the high moral values written in that document something a large number of Christian White Men and Women have simply been unable to successful achieve.

Janeane Davis (2016) said that when students are not taught to be respectful or acknowledge the truth that the African Americans have always been superb and great contributors to society in the American States, they are actually taught to be disrespectful to show gratitude to the African Americans presently residing in America. The end result is lack of feelings for others, no emotions, distrust and an indifference for treating other people, particularly other students and African Americans of color as they should be treated.

Heuschkel & Hyland, 2010 As educators, it’s important to be responsive to the needs of African American students who for the most part have had their history erased from the history books.

The majority over 80% of teachers in the United States are Caucasian which creates a potential cultural gap between student and teacher in America. We can now point to evidence showing that when an African American child understands their history, this can contribute to greater school moral and enhanced academic performance. It would be beneficial for a teacher to have knowledge of African American History, so they may be better able to help their students gain understanding and the importance of their history.

“My argument,” Ladson-Billings states, “is not that jeopardizing human needs must be ignored by teachers and educational institutions but that academicians cannot forget their major goal – instilling knowledge and encouraging students to learn” (p. 56). The actual method of elevating students’ academic and intellectual achievement should continue to be a focal point of our academician education programs as the problems surrounding the educational institutions become more pressing, Kimberly Heuschkel

Thus, it appears that the major rationale for Black Studies is the inclusion of the Afro-American experience as a valid and integral part of the history of the United States in order to correct the historic omissions and to diminish stereotypes. James Newton, 1974.

Newton, 1974, Bethune (1969) maintains that a clear rationale for Black Studies must be provided for two major reasons: to enlighten the majority of Americans, black and white; and to insist that educational institutions be held responsible for transmitting the complete history and culture of this pluralistic society.

Newton 1974 Durham (1970) states this idea explicitly: In order for American history to be accurate, it must present an inclusive record of the deeds and achievements of all peoples. In the past, there has been an unfortunate and ill-advised tendency to exclude substantial portions of the history of the Negro in America from the record of national experience. This omission is not only unjustifiable from the standpoint of historical scholarship, but it has allowed generations of Americans to grow up with a distorted view of our nation’s development and the part Negroes have played in it. Durham has much support from other writers in the field: Wright, (1970), Hurt (1968), Lee (1971), Proctor (1971), and others.

Source

McDonald, S. (2007). A Historical Perspective: How a Positive Cultural Identity Can Increase Achievement Motivation and Self-Esteem in Young African American Students. Counselor Education Master’s Thesis. 71. Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.brockport.edu/edc_thesis/71.

Tang, S., McLoyd, V. C., & Hallman, S. K. (2016). Racial socialization, racial identity, and academic attitudes among African American adolescents: Examining the moderating influence of parent–adolescent communication. Journal of youth and adolescence, 45(6), 1141-1155. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/281843514_Racial_Socialization_Racial_Identity_and_ Academic_Attitudes_Among_African_American_Adolescents_Examining_the_Moderating_ Influence_of_Parent-Adolescent_Communication

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