We study history so that we don’t repeat the mistakes from the past. Hindsight is always 20/20. An understanding of history serves as a guidepost for our decision-making and charts the course for where we want to go in the future. To effectively do this, we must be willing to look honestly at every part of our history, the good, bad and ugly. We can’t simply celebrate the parts that make us feel good and ignore or minimize the impact of the rest of our history.
Slavery played a significant part in the history of the United States. The foundation of our economy was built on the backs of slaves. Slaves helped build The White House, Monticello, Montpelier and Mount Vernon. The Civil War was fought over the moral issues of slavery.
Knowing this history is critical because its impact is still being felt today in America. From Reconstruction to Jim Crow to the Civil Rights Movement to the Voting Rights Act to the Black Lives Matter Movement. We are still feeling the reverberations of slavery.
This is why it is critical that we properly teach the history of slavery and give it the same attention that we currently give Pioneer Days and the American Revolution.
Our elementary schools along with strong family support serve as the foundation for enabling student to become well-rounded and productive individuals. This is why I support teaching grade appropriate parts of the 1619 Project or a similar alternative in our elementary schools.