The eurocentric curriculum present in many predominantly white institutions across North America harmfully neglects and misrepresents the history and culture of Black people. Eurocentric educations tend to miseducate Black students about their past while encouraging them to suppress their racial and cultural identities(Columbia Spectator). This imbalanced education not only alienates and demotivates young Black students but also, makes them feel unimportant.
Black history, beyond slavery and the Civil Rights Movement, is often ignored in predominantly white educational settings with some institutions even going as far as suggesting the abolishment of Black History Month(Huffington Post). Furthermore, the limited Black history in the curriculum of several American states, particularly those in the south, understate the severity and the long lasting impacts of slavery.
Prentice-Hall Classics: A History of the United States, a history textbook widely used in Texas, states “not all slaves were unhappy” (QZ). This leads impressionable, young students to believe that there was anything positive about slavery for Black people. Educators at the Great Hearts Monte Vista North school in San Antonio, Texas went as far as distributing worksheets titled “The Life of Slaves: A Balanced View,” to the children in their school, asking students to list “positive and negative aspects of slavery” (NY Times). This highlighting of slavery in a positive light can lead impressionable, young students to believe that slavery was not, in fact, the atrocity it was. Moreover, many Black students across America attend schools named after confederate war soldiers, glorifying the individuals who harmed their ancestors.
To combat these racial disparities in educational practices, schools must expand their curriculum, materials, and faculty to be more diverse. We must advocate for curricula that accurately and appropriately highlight the full contributions of Black people to society, both historically and currently. Materials used in classrooms should also reflect the diversity of our world from inclusive children's books to historically accurate textbooks that exhibit the realities of the struggles that Black people have had to and continue to endure as well as the phenomenal contributions they have made to society. Finally, schools should commit to a hiring process that employs teachers that reflect the demographics of their schools and broader communities.
The widespread use of eurocentric curricula across North America disproportionately affects Black students in that it misrepresents Black history and tends to highlight the positive contributions of White people to society while neglecting the historical contributions of Black people.
The educational materials used in some North American schools have misleading information that poorly represents Black history.
To combat this issue, schools need to hire more diverse educators, utilize historically accurate educational materials and teach from an inclusive curriculum of all students.