I Believe….

Richie Raclaw, Writer/Editor

I like to consider myself a strong believer. I believe in a number of things and I have lots of faith in my beliefs. The belief I want to talk about is one that I’ve just recently picked up this year, but I feel it’s necessary I speak on it because of what has happened in the last year. I believe that African-American History should be a graduation requirement in every high school across the country. 

I only just started taking the class this year. Even though we are only half way through it, I feel like my knowledge of the African-American experience has grown immensely. Also, I’m surprised I didn’t know a lot of what I’m learning sooner. And it’s a problem that I, along with everyone else who is currently taking the class, didn’t learn the material sooner. It points out a major flaw and the embedded racism in the American educational system. It isn’t taught in American history classes just because it’s black history. What people don’t realize is that black history is one of the biggest parts of American history. Without the knowledge of the African-American experience, what they’ve been through and what they’ve done for this country, people can’t formulate their own opinions. They learn and form biases based on what their parents and friends teach them, instead of upon facts and truth. Which leads us to all lives matter protesters and the deaths of people like George Floyd, Michael Brown, Breonna Taylor, Laquan McDonald, Ahmaud Arbery; the list goes on and on. 

Knowledge holds a lot of power, but so does lack of knowledge. To really make a dent in the racism that is unjustly occurring in this country, racists need to know the whole story of whom they’re being prejudiced against. Otherwise, nothing will change. And that’s why I believe, with my whole heart, mind, body, and soul, that African-American history should be a high school graduation requirement. And anyone who refuses to take it, maybe they don’t deserve a high school diploma.