Kallina Harrison says her teacher should know more about African-American slave history but blames herself as well.
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I recently watched a movie during school about the Holocaust called “The Boy with The Striped Pajamas.” It showed the life of a Jewish child in a concentration camp. A girl in my class asked our teacher why the Jews didn’t fight back against the Germans. My teacher compared the experience to African-Americans being unable to resist slavery. Furious, I blurted out, “Yes, we did!” But when my teacher, who is white, asked me to elaborate, I paused. Finally, I recalled the rebellion led by Nat Turner… but I couldn’t think of any more — and no one else could either.
Surely, there were other slave revolts. I felt ashamed for not knowing - and angry my teacher and classmates were just as uninformed. With just a few minutes of computer research, I read of other heroes. And I’m sure there are many others whose names we’ll never know.
There is pain in my heart when I think about how little I have learned about my ancestors. I also think I may not be learning enough about others’ ancestors as well. While watching a movie or participating in class surely helps, I can’t just rely on that. I know it is up to me to learn history — so next time I won’t feel so ignorant.