We have a trip planned to Montgomery this summer to do the civil rights tour, visit the Southern Poverty Law center and visit the EJI Musuem. I think another reader shared the info with me, so I printed it out and already booked a road trip with my partner’s children who attend all White schools and know absolutely zero about the real history of America. Thanks for the heads up! We can never learn enough about this country. I’m learning more everyday how much we’re lied to in school.
I love to read, but I’m a huge fan of cultural immersion. Sometimes, books are biased, guilty of whitewashing or minimizing the impact of segregation, racism, and slavery in America. Reading a book is nothing like touching, tasting, experiencing and hearing American history
I recommend going to the International African American Museum in Charleston, South Carolina to learn about how Blacks helped shaped America’s economy, culture, and politics. Attend the Gullah Festival held in Beaufort (a part of the Gullah Geechee Corridor), SC annually. It gives visitors an understanding of the language White folks have labeled bad English (aka Ebonics). The corridor is a National Heritage Corridor recognizing the unique culture of the Gullah Geechee people who have traditionally resided in the coastal areas and the sea islands of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. It’s an amazing experience and life changing.
If you haven’t visited the Smithsonian African American History Museum in DC, you MUST go. You should go as early as possible and stay as long as you can, as it’s the most information about Black history possible jammed into one space. It can be overwhelming as there are lots of things to overstimulate the mind, but it’s a great place to learn about how much we’ve contributed to America in spite of all we’ve endured. It starts in the basement with a slave ship and horrific images of the slave trade and leads up to President Obama and everything in between. It’s the most comprehensive museum I’ve visited. I have been twice, and every time I go I learn something new and see something different I missed from the previous visits.
As for books, I think we don’t talk enough about the role White women played in slavery, segragtion, defunding and diverting education funding for Blacks. Read Mad Madame Lalaurie, (ISBN: 978–1609491994), which delves into the roles White women played in torturing and killing slaves. Understanding our history helps you to understand why White women are so entrenched in segregation and racism.
Also check out They Were Her Property ( ISBN: 9780300218664) by Stephanie Rodgers also digs into the role of White women in the slave trade. It’s estimated that White women owned 40% of slaves in this country. The book also describes how White women arranged for Black female slaves of child bearing to be raped in order to breast feed their children. The book is a horrific accounts of how White women were as cruel as White men when it came to how they treated their slaves as if they were subhumans. These women treated their animals better than they treated the women who breast fed their children.
Mother’s of Massive Resistance by Elizabeth Gillespie McRae (ISBN: 9780190271718) highlights the sneaky ways White women aid White men in keeping people of color segregated and White folks oblivious to their roles in our politics and public education. It made me angry when I read it, and helped me to understand why White women are so proactive in the education of their children and ours.
Lastly, read Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America by Michael O. Emerson (ISBN-13: 978–0195147070) which discusses the problem of racial discrimination evangelicals engage in aiding in America’s racial strife. These people groom the next leaders in one political party, and it helps you understand why men like the governor are able to make it as far as they do in politics and in life. It’s a pretty interesting read. Nothing that I didn’t already know, but again, many people are unable to see how deeply politics, religion, civil rights, and racism are connected. This is book is a true picture into the minds of some racist religious people who go on to become leaders in all aspect of our society.