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February 26, 2016 / Patti Bryant

History of the Month

My son never really gets too excited to let me know what he did in school. Each day, I ask. The other day, he came in the door and dropped everything to share with me that he and his classmate got the highest score on a class quiz about African American history. He read through all the questions which were on the quiz. He explained the ones he got wrong and fortified his defense by explaining why he answered the way he did. He was impressed with his results.

As I leave my words as they are in the first paragraph, one could think several things. You could say I am a proud mom.  You could say I am happy to know I have a smart son. You could say all kinds of things. Specifically, is it a big deal to everyone that my son did so well on a middle school history quiz? No. Then, why have I decided to tell you all about it? Let´s see…

I´m going to dig into this a bit.


The significance could be that my son has not been stunted in his education of African American historical points. Or, he has been taught in America a history pertaining to kinds of ethnic backgrounds that are not monochromatic.

It may be a good point to consider he is being raised in a family which is ethnically diverse in blood and experience. Although half of his biological family looks like they are of European decent, he still knows history of Americans with African Ancestry. But, he also knows the hows and whys of many various points in world history. He, as with all my kids, has watched, listened to, read or experienced culture through religion, music, literature, dance, theatre, story telling, museums, demonstrations, workshops and film.

Our neighborhood has always included churches, libraries, galleries, museums, schools, theatres, shops, stores, stages, streets, earth, water, sun and moon. Our finances have always afforded most of those. We found it to be true that many of the best things are free. Education isn’t always free, but it is always available; to everyone. The cost of education can be in the form of money; bad lessons; blessings. When you stand at the top of your world, how far can you see? That is your classroom. That is your neighborhood. I firmly believe that.

I don’t think this post should be all too significant because my son of mixed ethnicity knows some things about African American history in February. I think this post should be significant because a child was excited about his academic accomplishment and wanted to share it with his parent willingly. He is in a generation, as we all are, which can make such an awesome change to social ideas of the human race and its diversity. I hope that what he ultimately took away from the experience is not just that he did well on some questions about people of African descent in American history but that he knows more of the why’s and how’s of our collective history.

Praise all the accomplishments. Learn from all the mistakes. Blur your vision to the details of skin colour but not to the uniqueness of each individual. I wish it didn’t matter if it is the designated history of the month – learn from it. Don’t repeat it.





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