Portraits of Frederick Douglass, Maya Angelou, Amiri Baraka, and Nikki Giovanni
Equity & Diversity Opinion

How to Get Black History Right: A Series

A Note From the Guest Editor
As I think of our current state of Black history education and Black History Month, I am reminded of the words of Carter G. Woodson, who noted in 1929, “Instruction with respect to the life and history of the Negro requires probably more preparation than any other phase of social science for the simple reason that no other problems have been so grossly misrepresented and so generally misunderstood. To undertake to give instruction in this field in which one is not prepared, then, would be a most expensive error for which future generations must pay in suffering from other misunderstandings like the many which handicap us today. It requires centuries for truth to overcome error.”
I am guest editing a series of opinion essays and videos for Education Week that reflect on what it means to be a Black history educator. I hope these essays will serve as an introduction to overcoming the expensive error that still handicaps us today: not understanding Black people are human through our history. I challenge teachers to reject the dominant historical narratives that suggest Black people’s experiences are not important unless they converge with white people’s interests.

—LaGarrett J. King

Black kids ride a hot air balloon while looking through telescopes and examining Black history
Edson Ikê for Education Week<br/>
Social Studies Opinion A Recipe for Young Historians of Black History
There are five simple ingredients to create a Black history club that will engage elementary-age students in research and celebration, writes kindergarten teacher Dawnavyn James.
Dawnavyn James, February 24, 2021
3 min read
Social Studies Opinion How I Fell in Love With Black History
To understand current events you must understand what’s happened with Black people throughout American history, says educator Jania Hoover in a video.
LaGarrett J. King , February 24, 2021
1 min read
Social Studies Opinion 'Black History Isn't Treated as American History'
In a video, a high school student-activist shares what it feels like to sit through a history class that only lets you see yourself as “the oppressed.”
LaGarrett J. King , February 24, 2021
1 min read
Joyful figures raise their hands and sparkle inside the profile of a smiling woman
Edson Ikê for Education Week
Equity & Diversity Opinion Don't Teach Black History Without Joy
The Black experience is not one-dimensional. Why do we teach it that way?
Jania Hoover , February 19, 2021
4 min read
Opinion 021021 23Tulino Black History Education 1249854966
Vanessa Solis/Education Week & RyanJLane/iStock/Getty<br/>
Social Studies Opinion How Can White Teachers Teach Black History? Six Things You Need to Know
For white teachers to engage students in learning Black history, we must question everything about the way we teach and learn in schools.
Daniel P. Tulino, Greg Simmons & Brianne R. Pitts, February 16, 2021
5 min read
Portraits of Frederick Douglass, Maya Angelou, Amiri Baraka, and Nikki Giovanni
AP Photos and Getty
Social Studies Opinion Black History Is About More Than Oppression
Why can't we get Black history education right? Education professor LaGarrett J. King shares six principles.
LaGarrett J. King , January 29, 2021
5 min read
Image of Carter G. Woodson
AP Photo and Getty
Social Studies Opinion The Important Political History of Black History Month
African American teachers have a long history of placing their students’ needs above the strictures of white school leadership.
Jarvis R. Givens, January 29, 2021
4 min read
Portrait of Abraham Lincoln looking at Abraham Lincoln
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and iStock/Getty
Social Studies Opinion When History Class Feels Like Propaganda: A Student's Perspective
Black history is treated as a separate concept from American and world history, but it shouldn’t be, writes high schooler Lauryn Donovan.
Lauryn Donovan, January 29, 2021
3 min read