Kerry Washington has come forth advocating for a change in the manner black history is taught.
The actress, while appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live virtually, said, “There’s a lot of posts about privilege looks like discovering that racism exists as opposed to knowing that it exists.”
“For a lot of Black families, we don’t have the privilege of ignoring what’s going on and pretending that it’s not happening. But the thing I’ve been thinking about a lot, honestly, with my kids — and with my friends’ kids — I’ve been thinking a lot about education and a lot about talking about race and introducing ideas of race,” she added. “And really thinking about the idea that for a lot of kids — kids are introduced to race at Black History Month or in the concept of change-makers like Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks.”
The actress went on to assert that she doesn’t think that’s an appropriate starting point though. “I think it’s really important that we start to introduce the idea of race with a Black History that begins before teaching kids what black people were told they couldn’t do, right?” she told Kimmel.
“So, there’s Maasai Warriors and the kingdoms of Ghana and Queen Nefertiti and the pyramids of Egypt. But this idea of teaching kids that Black History and Black people were a lot of things before segregation and Jim Crow and the Civil Rights Movement, so that we understand the beautiful complexity and elegance and richness of Black History before refusing to be put in the back of the bus,” Washington concluded.