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