It’s important for children to learn about slavery and black history just as they would about any part of history, because knowledge of the past helps us appreciate the future more. Slavery was a horrible time in America’s past, but slavery existed in every part of the world not just America. American slavery was unique because slavery was based on oppressing one group of people and hindering them from feeling human. According to Philip D. Morgan from Princeton University
Yet, of course, ancient slavery was fundamentally different from modern slavery in being an equal opportunity condition — all ethnicities could be slaves — and in seeing slaves as primarily a social, not an economic, category.*
American slave owners treated their slaves as commodities and not humans. Thus, the treatment of people and compassion for others is a lesson that children should be taught. Learning about the past is empowering not isolating. Growing up, I was taught about slavery, the past, and it was liberating for me. I felt proud of Harriet Tubman
and Sojourner Truth
who are two of the most well know women who were born slaves, yet triumphed and became heroes.
The fact that this same group of black slaves were able to live, thrive, escape, and move beyond the oppression of slavery is a fascinating story. As a descendent of slaves I proudly share the past of my people who were determined, triumphant, and resilient.
Helpful Resources about American Slavery
Harriet Tubman (Moses of the Underground Railroad) – She was buried with Military Honors in Fort Hill cemetery on March 10, 1013.