Teachers and historians are evaluating how black history is taught today. While textbooks and class materials are more inclusive than they have been in the past, interweaving black history with American history, there is still some need for teachers to use their knowledge and experience to add more detail and include important events and ideas.
Anthony Marshall, a teacher at Booker T Washington High School in Tulsa, wanted his students to look into the backgrounds of Booker T Washington and W.E.B.Du Bois and research their differing philosophies. Students would then debate, taking either side.
Marshall refers to his course focused on African-American studies as “U.S. history from an African-American perspective.” The course reviews less known aspects of black history in the US, as well as more commonly covered topics such as the civil rights movement and the Tulsa race Riot. Contributions of African-Americans in every stage of American history are studied.
Marshall does not believe that black history is taught in Oklahoma schools as well as it could be.
“If history were taught the way it should be taught, you would not need a separate class called black history,” he said. He believes that the need for a specific class on African-American studies illustrates that something is lacking. He says “There is a void in how we teach.”