Hey, everybody, welcome to Tellers of the Untold, I’m Vanessa, your host today. Anyways, um, so this episode is focused on the month of February, February being Black History Month. Well, and, you know, although is Black History Month, as you notice from my podcast, my website, my film that we should be, it should be black history month, every month. But because it’s not, I want to especially focus on February for information regarding the unknowns of black history. And the reason why I’m doing that, too is this is when the educators and a lot of people that don’t celebrate it 24, you know, throughout the year, they will actually look for materials. So because they’re looking for materials, I’m hoping we’ll be the materials for that. So today’s podcast, I have excerpts from interviews that I put together this summer when I was interviewing for my documentary, these are some of the footage that was included in the documentary and some were not. And all I asked here was, do you think black history is important? And why do you think it’s, you know, not taught in school, outside of February. And, again, some of the people that I interviewed were not just black, they were as I think the first one is Asian and Hispanic than black than white. So getting all different perspectives. But one of the things that people really don’t realize is that black history actually started with Carter G. Woodson. And I’m giving some of those facts in this clip here. So I hope you guys enjoy it. And once you’re done with listening to this podcast, make sure you go to our website that tellers untold Comm. When you go on that website, what you’re going to see within the next week, you’ll see a link to the black history crossword puzzle book that was created. And it’ll be published the first week in February. So make sure you purchase that it’ll be fun to look for the word search. And then just once you’re looking for those words, you’ll be thinking, Okay, who was this person, and maybe it’ll get you curious to look it up. We’ll also have some little quizzes on the websites and fun little black history flat-fact quizzes to see how you guys do. And also, I launched I think I mentioned this last time, a new website strictly for the documentary, and it’s saying sankofachicago.com. So please visit that subscribe to both. And I am looking for a few things. So if you are and this is voluntarily but I’ll you know, of course, include your name and your information, give me a shout out. I’m looking for kids’ art for Black History Month. Like if you have a child or grandchild that can draw some of the black history heroes send them to me so I can post them. Not on social media, but posted on our website would love that love, love, love that. Our email is info at tellers untold.com. And I’m also looking for stories. I’m looking for other people to interview and especially if you’re a senior citizen of any race, especially black but any race, I would love to interview you and get your story so we can document that and allow other people to hear it. Okay, so I hope you guys enjoy this clip and happy February happy Black History Month and I will definitely be having an episode every week during February. Take care.
I was brought up in a home where my father really enjoyed talking about black history. I went to a high school where the principal taught us about black history, things we didn’t know and my dad told us about it from a personal viewpoint as his father was born a slave in 1848 Juneteenth and his father’s mother his grandmother on his paternal grandmother came from Africa and my sister Kate had gone to Africa to find out where the ship that brought her to America came from, she went to the Washington dc archives and looked up. And I think she found the ship that she supposedly had come in on. And they changed her name to Sally. And we talked about it in our how we were brought up talking about how dad would tell us about we came from kings and queens and, and that we were very important people and how some of us became slaves of my ancestor was that the tribes were fighting with each other. And they were, you know, captured the queens and they would bring them over as slaves. So a lot of information I got from my dad, and I tried to tell my kids about it, but they didn’t seem to be interested in it, but I really loved it. And I always thought about how I came to be in America, and how it’s important that my kids know that their great grandfather was a slave, and I am the granddaughter of a slave.
I recognize my
number one is marker Luther King,
Jr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Did you know Dr. King lift into cago in 1966, to lead the Chicago Freedom Movement, protesting against segregation.
During that time, when you were a teacher, was black history part of the curriculum.
It wasn’t really a part of the history, but I taught it in my classroom. From the time I started in 1962, each year, I would have my children work on black history. programs we would when I went into the library, all of my children were
I guess you would call it assignment to do black history, scrapbooks.
I think the teacher the non black teacher, I shouldn’t say all do
I think they’re afraid to incorporate black history, especially those who aren’t black cuz they’re afraid they’ll do it wrong. So or offend somebody. So I am the parent who stands up and says, hey, it’s February, I want to come in and talk about black history.
There may be
some other parents who feel like it’s not their job, why is it our job to teach and not something that the school takes on school administration takes on and it puts it into the curriculum? Besides, I have a dream and Rosa Parks, that seems to be the thing that schools like Steve
was a teacher for 20 years, you know, and so and I bounced around from school to school, and some schools would have, you know, really strong black history programs and others would so it’s, it’s, it’s lopsided, you know, it’s not, we should have a program. That’s an all of our schools, you know, it should be one I think, either written, you know, create it, where it’s an actual course, that you have to take, you know, kind of like when I went to an HBCU when I got to Morehouse, it was mandatory that you received, you know, 400 years of good, solid, truthful, black history, so that you would know exactly where you come from. And the things that Went, went down before we got here.
Do you remember did during that time were you taught black history in the school? No, no one, no black history, nothing. Nothing like that.
Black History in schools started in 1915. With Dr. Carter G. Woodson and his colleagues here in Chicago in 1967, Illinois passed a law that history books would include negros and other ethnic groups. In 1981. Every public school in the state was mandated to teach black history and march 2020. amendment to the bill, Hb 4954 would require all schools in the state of Illinois to teach Black History beyond slavery, but this has not been passed yet.
Thank you. It’s really important that we have black history in school curriculums, I feel that there was definitely a lack of that growing up in this country. As a kid, I didn’t have that education. And having had to learn it myself, is a disservice to everyone. Especially since black history really impacts all the other minority stories that happened in this country as well. And so the fact that it still isn’t incorporated today in many curriculums is really disheartening to me.
Growing up in Texas, my understanding of black history and just history in general is very skewed. And I think that that has caused a lot of the problems in our country today. And so I think it’s so important to learn about history, from everybody’s perspective and black history. I mean, our whole country being built on slavery is so important to understand and how that impacts everybody.
Did you like to segregated schools? Or did you prefer to all I add in No, no better than I didn’t know nothing about segregating. I just knew that we were all I was in low, low grade to like, Second. Second grade, I think I was before they transferred me to wait around what year was that? That was back in the 30s 30. Do you mind letting everybody know how old you are? I’m 95 years old. And amazing. I was
in a improv show. And they called me and asked me what what’s a influential black female that they could act out. And I said, I’d be wells, you know, with the whole, just changing the name of Congress Parkway, and just a whole entire stage. We had no idea who she was or what it was. And, you know, and we’re naming streets after these people, and yet nobody knows who they are and what influence they had. And that’s very, very sad. And there’s a huge disconnect in things like naming streets versus actually knowing what happened.
Black, Black History, Black Lives, it is extremely important. It’s, you know,
it’s part of our culture, it’s, it’s what’s going on in this world.
I feel like our kids need to know and, and understand so that they could
in hopes, you know,
by educating them, it helps you know, our worlds and and
have a little less hate, little,
you know, more more understanding for everybody.
I grew up sitting going down the Mississippi, and I didn’t know that was a dining car on the train because my mother fix me. Box lunch, and I sat there and ate it. And I didn’t know that was a dining car, but we were forbidden to eat there. And so these are the heroes we must never forget. And I think we were failing to forget that of where we’ve come from. And Jews have taught never to forget the Holocaust. We must never forget where we come from.