Homeschooling and Black History: A Call for Stories
By Wende Benner, HA Editorial Staff
One of the interesting aspects of homeschooling is the flexibility that parents have to customize their children’s education. Thus, different homeschool alumni–even those using the same curriculum–can often have vastly different experiences learning (or not learning) a particular subject.
Black history is one of those areas where the difference can be as stark as night and day. On the one hand, many parents give their kids a very thorough education in black history. And according to an article in The Atlantic about the rising number of black homeschooling families, “[A] 2012 report published in the Journal of Black Studies…show[s] that black parents who choose to homeschool often teach a comprehensive view of African history by incorporating more detailed descriptions of ancient African civilizations and accounts of successful African people throughout history.”
On the other hand, the homeschool movement has a troubling relationship with white supremacy. “White Pride Homeschooling” websites exist, and recommend many commonly used homeschooling curricula as appropriate for their goals, including Bob Jones, ACE, and Alpha Omega. During my time as a moderator of a Facebook group for homeschool alumni, I frequently heard people say that they were taught that Martin Luther King, Jr. was a communist, or was anti-Christian–if they were even taught about him at all.
Since February is Black History Month, Homeschoolers Anonymous would like to hear your stories of learning black history. We are especially interested in hearing stories from black homeschool alumni.
Some questions to consider:
- What history curriculum did your parents use? How did it address black history (rigorously, only a little, not at all)?
- If you are black, do you feel that homeschooling helped or hindered you in learning about your history? Are there any homeschool curricula that you would or would not recommend, based on your experience?
- What do you wish you had learned about black history/culture?
- What were you taught about slavery? Emancipation? Reconstruction? The Civil Rights Movement?
- Have you had to change your view of black history as an adult?
- Were you ever taught anything false about black history? How did you figure out it was wrong?
We will begin posting submissions on Friday, February 10 and continue throughout the month of February. If you would like to share your story, please send your submissions to HA.EdTeam@gmail.com
HA Note: We will be carefully screening submissions for racism, both blatant and implicit. We also acknowledge that the editorial staff is majority white. Therefore, we will be bringing in a couple more editors with experience in race-sensitive issues, in order to decrease the likelihood that we miss something. If you have any concerns, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org