Unfortunately, Black students, in particular, are contending with emotions they may find difficult to articulate. Black students are fighting forces that were strategically established to maintain academic neutrality, while other students have significantly more opportunities to excel because they are exposed to the contributions of their ancestors – daily celebrating their history, culture, and existence throughout history textbooks and society at-large.
According to research regarding culturally responsive teaching and learning, there is a direct correlation between students’ self-awareness and academic achievement. There is an obvious need for Black American students to achieve in the same manner – being culturally astute matters!
The lack of historical content has been a significant influencer of negative outcomes for black students and communities including:
Lack of self-awareness
Lack of self-esteem
Lack of intrinsic motivation
Decreased academic achievement
White students benefit from learning about other cultures in much the same way as students of color. It is important for all learners to understand and acknowledge the contributions of persons from varied cultures, ethnicities, and backgrounds in order to fully appreciate all of humanity. There is no dominant race, but individuals of shared ethnicities offer traits and talents that benefit society-at-large. History is a rich, engaging subject that should be inclusive of all and Black American history truly includes Native American and European history. When all students learn to grapple with their varied pasts, they are more prepared to create the future they deserve.
For decades and even centuries, teachers have been encouraged to tell a pretty lop-sided story. Although many educators have taken the initiative to be more inclusive in their delivery of history and social science instruction, there have been few mandates to do so. Educators and decision-makers within our system are also influenced by the lack of black history curriculum and participate in the demise of historically forgotten communities by:
Accepting negative stereotypes
Acting on fear of the unknown
Refusing to acknowledge the contributions and challenges of black Americans
Not challenging discriminatory behavior
Challenging progressive movements that would bring more inclusive history and social studies curriculum
While historically teachers have not been "trained" to teach history, BH365 offers resources and supports to begin to unlearn historical biases and teach well-rounded lessons that include and engage all students.
DR. WALTER MILTON, JR.
Founder & CEO of BH365/Author
Led by Dr. Walter Milton, Jr., our diverse team of seasoned historians and curriculum developers have collective experience in varied education disciplines. Dr. Milton is a native of Rochester, New York. He earned a B.A. from the University of Albany and an M.S. from SUNY College at Brockport. He took postgraduate courses at the University of Rochester to receive his administrative certifications, including his superintendent’s license. Dr. Milton has also taught at several universities across the United States. He holds a Doctorate degree in leadership and policy from the University of Buffalo. He is also a published author of Me in the Making – One Man’s Journey to Becoming a School Superintendent, (2008) and Why Black Men Must Save Black Boys in America’s Public Schools (2014). He served as a school superintendent for fourteen years, in the states of New York, Michigan, and Illinois. Dr. Milton is currently CEO of From the Heart International Educational Services.
DR. JOEL FREEMAN
Co-Founder & Executive Director of BH365/Author & Publisher
For 20 NBA seasons, Dr. Freeman served as player development mentor and character coach for the Washington Bullets/Wizards - surviving six coaching changes (1978-1998). Having grown up in Canada, it was during his time - working with NBA players - that his rather unique interest in Black History first emerged. In 1995 he co-authored the book, Return To Glory: The Powerful Stirring of the Black Race, with the foreword written by Julius "Dr. J" Erving. Eight years later he co-wrote the film version of the book, currently with Spanish, Portuguese, French and English subtitles.
With travels to over 55 countries, Joel has worked with the Association of International Schools for Africa (AISA), traveling extensively throughout the continent of Africa and conducting a number of training events for educators, government and business leaders. He has also assisted in addressing issues surrounding conflict resolution, tribal warfare and the AIDS crisis in meetings with over 100 African kings and queens throughout Benin, Togo, and Nigeria.
Genuine documents and artifacts from the Freeman Institute(r) Black History Collection (over 3,000 items, oldest piece dated 1553) have been showcased in exhibitions at the United Nations, White House, Clinton Presidential Library, Secret Service and many other venues. Many of the images from his collection are included in the BH365 curriculum. Audiences around the world have experienced his intriguing presentation, "A White Man's Journey Into Black History". It's an eye-opening experience that transcends race.