Learning history, teaches about behavior and events of the past, which helps to avoid past mistakes.
Not only can history be told to help us to understand what is going on in the world, to understand ourselves and others, to understand change, to understand how to be good citizens, to help us make better decisions, but it can also help us to not repeat the past mistakes that have been made.
Sheehan talks about how history can provide us a lesson from the past so that we can live to have a better future (Sheehan, 2005). He discusses the fact that by sharing history with students can make it where moral and practical lessons are being taught so that we know how to behave in the future.
As our youth struggle for identity during their adolescent years, African Americans are faced with added social character degrading challenges such as having to deal with the notion that society does not think they can achieve, along with the inequalities of being black.
Recent data gathered by the University of San Bernardino’s, Center for The Study of Hate and Extremism (CSHE), report Hate Crimes Rise 9% in 2018 to Decade High of 2,009 in 30 U.S. Cities, 2019 Also Up, hate crimes in thirty of America’s largest cities rose nine percent in 2018 to a decade high of 2,009.
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.
Racial identity can affect the self-esteem of a child while they are developing and as a whole. Swanson, Cunningham, Youngblood II and Spencer discussed the fact that children that were taught at a young age about their racial identity were less likely to feel a difference between their personal and group identity …
Sheehan also brings up an important point about using more than one history to teach things so that the history blunders or falsehoods that have been taught can be brought out in the open (Sheehan, 2005). This is extremely important for African American history so that students can learn and understand the history that their ancestors helped to create that helped to make America a better place to live.
Racial socialization has been defined as “the developmental processes by which children acquire the behaviors, perceptions, values, and attitudes of an ethnic group, and come to see themselves and others as members of the group”.
By acquiring behaviors and perceptions and values as one group but more importantly as a whole, students are able to apprehend knowledge and to use this knowledge as a form of power and understanding.
Even though history is full of mistakes and struggle, those things make it even more important to learn and understand so that all students can learn and know that struggle helps us to overcome personal bias and it is unavoidable and imperfect but that it helps us to strive to understand what is really true (Sheehan, 2005).


Sheehan, James J. “How do we learn from history?” (2005). Retrieved from