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Institutionalized racism (?): Why do we not hear of African history in our schools?

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posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 10:57 PM
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Here is a thought I have been having recently: Why do we not hear of African history in our schools? And, if we can all agree, is this institutionalized racism or something similar? OK, so maybe one could take a class in college that specializes in African history, but what about during the earlier year's of one's education. I can't seem to recall having an in depth course on this topic. Surely we just learn of the Greek/Roman/European/American histories and etc. Why not African history? I think the only time I learned of African history in high school was in Freshman year in a Global Histories class (and, of course, it must have only focused on, dare I call, "Black Africa," everything except Egypt, for a brief time). And, to boot, the only time I learned of African history in college (even though, presently, I am only a Junior) was in Non-Western History ( and I don't think I will be learning of African history anymore in college, as I am a Computer Science major
).

Yes, we have all learned of the great dynasties and histories of the aforementioned places (Greece/Rome/Europe/America), but what of Africa? I may be showing my ignorance of this topic, but did the peoples of the continent of Africa not write down their histories (I am sure they did)? What is the deal here? No wonder people may feel (whether in the great past or at present) that whites are somehow above blacks
. What can you recall of African history? Here is what I can remember: that the Europeans raped the place for slaves and raw materials (and I remember a bit about famous Africans fighting for independence against the Europeans and a bit about Egypt, but that can be/was included with the history of the Middle East). This is nonsense
.

I ask again, is this something like institutionalized racism?






posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 11:36 PM
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Well, the reason we don’t study that much of African history is that it’s not that pertinent to our current situation. That is, we have laws based in Roman jurisprudence, philosophy based on Greek thought, morality based upon Judeo-Christian ethics, etc. All primarily Western developments. We also have many salient, and sometimes traumatic, changes brought about by events in Western historical events. Therefore, why shouldn’t we ( I assume you mean as Americans) concentrate on Western history? African history or Asian history has little bearing upon the foundations of what he United States was birthed from and what it subsequently became.
Look at it another way: Let’s assume you are of Italian descent. To what end would it serve you to investigate and study Korean culture and history? Granted, you may want to do so, simply for your own edification. But would such studies enhance or enlighten you as regards your own history and culture and how you came to be? Most assuredly not.
Therefore, as Westerners, we need to study those subjects which correspond with our past and development into what we are today.



posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 11:45 PM
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I think the reason we dont learn about African history, (besides the part they teach in science class about how we all evolved from there is the same reason we dont learn about Slovenian history. Or Brazilian history. Or Romanian history. Or Czechoslovakian history. Because this is America. Growing up in Hawaii, we didnt learn much about the Civil War, but we sure as heck learned how the American government helped overthrow the Hawaiian monarchy.

Countries teach their own version of history. Some states emphasize their own history over the history of the country to some degree. (Especially states that are far away and only recently had their own sovereign governments separate from the US.)

I dont think it is institutionalized racism. You learn about Martin Luther King, Frederick Douglas, and other AMERICANS who happened to be descended from Africans. What it is is indoctrinization into the cult of America. We are the only thing that matters in our own minds. (Not all of us, but as a culture) You have to watch the BBC to hear news about ANY other country, European or African, unless they are selling us some agenda regarding that country. (ie; preparing us for a long expensive war there)



posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 11:52 PM
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Originally posted by they see ALLAnd, if we can all agree, is this institutionalized racism or something similar?

Here is what I can remember: that the Europeans raped the place for slaves and raw materials (and I remember a bit about famous Africans fighting for independence against the Europeans and a bit about Egypt, but that can be/was included with the history of the Middle East).

I ask again, is this something like institutionalized racism?




No, it's institutionalized common sense. We don't learn about Japanese history, or Chinese history, or Indian history, or South American history or even Australian history.

Why?

Because the United States originated in the war with Britain. Tracing this history back leads to European history, not Asian, African, South American, or Australian history.

And by the way, what I remember of ancient African history is the Egyptians in Africa having Jews for slaves and killing their first born.



posted on Jun, 10 2008 @ 03:19 PM
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Originally posted by passenger
Well, the reason we don’t study that much of African history is that it’s not that pertinent to our current situation. That is, we have laws based in Roman jurisprudence, philosophy based on Greek thought, morality based upon Judeo-Christian ethics, etc.


This makes sense.


Therefore, why shouldn’t we ( I assume you mean as Americans) concentrate on Western history?


Yes I guess I was talking of Americans, but I am sure this can apply to the whole of Westerners (even though I have no knowledge of what other Westerners' are being taught).


Originally posted by Illusionsaregrander
I think the reason we dont learn about African history, (besides the part they teach in science class about how we all evolved from there is the same reason we dont learn about Slovenian history. Or Brazilian history. Or Romanian history. Or Czechoslovakian history. Because this is America.


Sure, but this is an entire continent we're talking about here. I can see learning little to nothing on the places you have mentioned, but I can't understand not being taught on an entire continent.


Growing up in Hawaii, we didnt learn much about the Civil War, but we sure as heck learned how the American government helped overthrow the Hawaiian monarchy.


This is very interesting. I didn't know either of these points. I am shocked that you weren't taught of the Civil War (as Hawaii is, of course, a U.S. state). The fact that it is far away shouldn't be an excuse
.


Countries teach their own version of history. Some states emphasize their own history over the history of the country to some degree. (Especially states that are far away and only recently had their own sovereign governments separate from the US.)


Very true.


I dont think it is institutionalized racism. You learn about Martin Luther King, Frederick Douglas, and other AMERICANS who happened to be descended from Africans.


Yes, true.


Originally posted by jamie83
Because the United States originated in the war with Britain. Tracing this history back leads to European history, not Asian, African, South American, or Australian history.


OK, but why, then, do we learn of Western philosophies/histories (is it because of what passenger said)? Simply because we are not directly connected to Africa should not excuse the fact that we are not learning about an entire continent.


And by the way, what I remember of ancient African history is the Egyptians in Africa having Jews for slaves and killing their first born.


It's good that you remember something






posted on Jun, 17 2008 @ 05:16 AM
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reply to post by they see ALL
 


very good point. we have a school system that is horribly lacking in world history education, and we should do something to fix that.



posted on Jun, 17 2008 @ 05:21 AM
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We don't hear much because there isn't much to tell. Their history for the most part is what they are doing now in Africa, living primitive lives and killing each other in tribal wars.



posted on Jun, 17 2008 @ 10:36 PM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
very good point. we have a school system that is horribly lacking in world history education, and we should do something to fix that.


Thanks. Yes, we should do something about this.


Originally posted by Straight Razor
We don't hear much because there isn't much to tell. Their history for the most part is what they are doing now in Africa, living primitive lives and killing each other in tribal wars.


Oh, come on! Isn't that a little (and I mean huge) simplification of an entire continent! There must be so much more than that.





posted on Jun, 17 2008 @ 11:02 PM
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well largely we don't here too much about "african" history i would feel it is because africa is a continent of thousand of cultures and separate histories and how many have contributed to the development of the world we live and interact in today? it is a matter of relevance.
The dynasties of Egypt, the Zulu Nation, SouthAfrica, Ethiopia, the NorthSaharan Africa...and then the Western africa history which was touched and abused by european traders...
and lets think outside of Egypt not many "africans actually wrote anything down- so how could this be studied or taught.

you can't teach which for all intents and purposes did not leave a record of note to show it existed. we don't hear much about the Native PapuaNewGuineans either for similar reasons, or the history of the Inuit Peoples in the North...
it isn't inherently racist I don't think, it is more leaning on relevance and written records.



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