My President Is Black

My President is Black. President Obama may have given the BLACKEST speech of his presidency. There were shots fired at former Presidents, the bias justice system, and most importantly a miseducated America. It was a pleasure and a privilege to be at that moment, standing shoulder to shoulder with hundred upon thousands of my brothers and sisters as America finally enshrined its history.  

President Obama told of a stone tucked away in the lower corridors of the museum. This stone reads “General Andrew Jackson and Henry Clay spoke from this slave block during the year 1830.” [He wanted us] to think about this. “Consider what this artifact tells us about history, about how it’s told, and about what can be cast aside.” It was in this moment of reflection I started to think about the cost of our discarded history and miseducation. I began to weep at the story still untold even with the historic unveiling of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

In every major city in this country, African American children find themselves on the losing end of a war between standardized educational practices and budget conflicts. Unfortunately, the current educational standard was never devised to educate students of color, but merely to train them. Our nation adopted the Washington approach to education designed to teach us to stay in our place and to perform our subservient labor. Nevertheless, as we begin to wake up, and gain access to the truth about our history and role in shaping this country, our children and our community are demanding more. This demand, however, is being met with a swift and severe response that our schools cannot afford the change.
The question is, where are the billions of dollars being pumped into the educational environment going? When does the educational oppression experienced in our communities become a national crisis? Was this museum unveiling merely a ploy to distract us? Or was the opening an actual proclamation that we as African Americans matter in this country?

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Joseph Butler

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