Normally, when you hear the worlds “Texas” and “Black History Month” in the same sentence, you brace yourself for some mess, but this year…surprisingly, that isn’t the case. This year, Peniel E. Joseph, the Barbara Jordan Chair in Ethics and Political Values in the LBJ School of Public Affairs and a professor of history in the College of Liberal Arts at The University of Texas at Austin, has presented a proposal in which every student in Texas will be required to learn and participate in BHM every year. No more skimpy lesson plans and half commitments. BHM will become integral to every student’s education.
Here’s what the educator had to say in a public letter to the state:
“In times of racial crisis, politicians, educators, and community leaders often talk about the need for racial dialogue or a national conversation about race. Such a dialogue should be built on the extensive knowledge of that history and the way it courses through the veins of our larger national identity and collective memory.
“By requiring every student to actively engage in the study of Black history, Texas could lead the way toward the long-term goal of transforming American race relations for the better.”
It’s hard to argue against Mr. Peniel’s goal. What do you think about his letter?