Ignorance About Slavery

When it comes to the subject of American slavery the student is woefully misinformed for the most part.

Every American knows though some do not want to acknowledge that the American South was a hot bed of slavery…….too many make too many excuses for the   situation and our educational system is no help in teaching the real story of slavery……

Just eight percent of American high school seniors can identify the cause of the Civil War; less than a third (32 percent) know which amendment abolished slavery in the U.S.; and fewer than half (46 percent) know that the “Middle Passage” refers to the harrowing voyage across the Atlantic undertaken by Africans kidnapped for the slave trade. These are only a few of the more unnerving findings from the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance project, which concludes that in classrooms across the country, the subject of slavery is as mistaught as it is misunderstood.

Drawing from online surveys of 1,000 12th-graders and more than 1,700 social studies teachers, along with an exhaustive analysis of the 10 most widely read U.S. history textbooks, the SPLC’s latest report attempts to assess how well the country understands its original sin. In a word, the results are “abysmal.”

https://www.rawstory.com/2018/02/wont-believe-american-high-schools-teaching-students-slavery/

More on the study made on the subject of slavery as taught in our high schools……

https://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2018/02/04/582468315/why-schools-fail-to-teach-slaverys-hard-history

I am old and I live in the South……I have heard just about every  excuse possible for the act of slavery….none of them are acceptable…..at least to me.  Ignoring the institution will not make it go away……teaching falsehoods will not make it more acceptable.

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15 thoughts on “Ignorance About Slavery

  1. I think the biggest oversight is failure to note slavery existed in the north as well, if on a different scale. Of course, the Emancipation Proclamation liberated slaves held within the Confederate States, but not those in the Union.

    historyofmassachusetts.org/slavery-in-massachusetts/

    1. I think the biggest oversight is a failure to note that slavery still exists in one form or another all over this country through slave labor wages being paid to people under the table by unscrupulous employers, through human trafficking, through unethical employers scamming illegal immigrants out of reasonable wages and accommodations … It has never gone away … It simply is not in the frontal lobes of society anymore. All the Emancipation Proclamation did was to tear Black Families apart from the only subsistence they had ever known in service to their plantation owners and cast them out, without anything at all, into the darkness of something the do-gooders were calling “Freedom.” The Emancipation Proclamation was a death sentence to hundreds or even thousands who couldn’t cope with being entirely on their own in a hostile society. Slavery is still very much alive here but it is lower key now.

      1. Point well taken. Call it by any other name, and sweatshop labor making designer luxury goods for Ivanka, for example, is still a form of slavery. Not knowing (or asking about) the source of goods can inadvertently propagate modern day slavery. Chocolate has a bad name in that enslaved children are documented as harvesters of the cacao beans. And so on.

      2. Or, if one were inclined to avoid focusing on the President’s family we might include such examples as Chinese Laborers making toys for America’s children or low-paid Mexican harvesters picking coffee beans for export to The United States.

  2. Weggieboy makes a good point. As well as the need for better education about this, and other issues, we must be careful that it does not become a ‘selective’ history.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  3. It’s even worse than you expect esp among African American teens. Miami Dade school system has activities Black History entire month of February. My school was 85% black. I had my students do a 1 1/2 page essay on African American of their choice: who was person, what did they do, why do you admire ? Most of the papers were on the great African American, Nelson Mandela. Unbelievable, eh ?

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