What Can Educators Learn From the Reconstruction Era?

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After the Civil War ended, the United States grappled with its own white supremacy. Our ancestors’ achievements during the Reconstruction era should have restored our pride and empowered us. Instead, most African-Americans are kept away from the incredible success stories of former slaves. The Village Method supports anti-racist educators and provides them with undeniable facts.

Southern state governments had to come to terms with the severe consequences of racial discrimination. American citizenship was the main goal, and southern whites were certainly unhappy with our ancestors’ growing emancipation. It’s time for our children to learn about the freed people that came before them. 

Let us take a closer look at what anti-racist educators could learn from the Reconstruction era. Today’s African-American population has a moral responsibility to be aware of its history. By doing this, the past will have no chance of repeating itself.

Why Educators Must Research the Reconstruction Era 

It is imperative that educators address the effects of systemic racism in education. Black students continue to face adversities that not only affect their academic achievements, but also their levels of psychological distress. To counteract this, anti-racist educators must go back in time and learn all there is to know about the Reconstruction era.

They could start off by reading important books on this topic, such as The Education of Blacks in the South, 1860-1935. This particular book will help anti-racist educators empower their students. Beginning with the Civil War and until the Great Depression, our ancestors fought hard for their civil rights, including their right to education.

For that, they invented an educational system that has strongly influenced the one that is in place today. However, a crucial puzzle piece that is still missing is the real history of African-Americans. The poor and subjugated people of the past were not mere victims ━ they triumphed and showed their oppressors just how hungry they were for knowledge. Our children deserve to know this.

A Growing Need for Critical Race Theory

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The Reconstruction era is not a random page in the history preceding the American Civil War. It showcases the indestructible spirit of our people. After President Abraham Lincoln came President Andrew Johnson, a fierce defender of presidential reconstruction and white supremacy. Among many things, he stripped formerly enslaved people of their political rights to interfere with the policies of Southern states.

Our people’s economic autonomy was also under clear attack. Anti-racist educators who wish to teach Critical Race Theory on this particular subject should read the book The Failed Promise: Reconstruction, Frederick Douglass, and the Impeachment of Andrew Johnson. Issues such as interracial democracy, the right to vote, and overall racial equality continue to resonate with us as a people to this day. 

Unfortunately, Critical Race Theory is being sabotaged by our policymakers. This violent backlash confirms and reiterates the events that took place during the Reconstruction era. American history deserves to be taught properly. Critical Race Theory uncovers the true history of our people while pointing out the issue of systemic racism in education. All African-Americans should study the real version of events.

Teaching the Reconstruction Era to All Generations

Time article revealed that actor Chris Rock was not aware that his great-great-grandfather served during the Civil War. This further confirms that the Reconstruction era is minimized. Conversations about its historical impact are kept to a minimum in classrooms all across the nation.

For this reason, parents are starting to seek out culturally affirming after-school programs for their children. Their thirst for knowledge usually empowers entire families. With the help of family engagement activities, children, parents, and even grandparents can learn new things about the Reconstruction era and take pride in their ancestors’ achievements.

Family engagement is known to increase academic achievement levels and bring the parents closer to educators. Furthermore, the gap between home and school will be closed for good, all with the help of family engagement activities.

Look for after-school programs that offer a culturally respectful and accurate outlook on our ancestry. The Reconstruction era is just a fragment of a turbulent time. In truth, our people were always eager to learn, read, excel academically, and change the fabric of our society.

By using both Critical Race Theory and family engagement, we have a chance to empower our young scholars. Once they are aware of the richness of their culture and history, they will be properly equipped to face the adversities of day-to-day life.

Anti-Racist Educators Can Dismantle Systemic Racism in Education

When Reconstruction began, our people rejoiced and marveled at the feeling of their newfound freedom. They eagerly educated themselves and paved the way for our modern-day society. We owe it to our ancestors to start teaching the full story about the Reconstruction era. It’s up to the educators to enlighten their students.

The Village Method is not your regular after-school program. We focus on empowering young scholars and their families. It is our belief that academic achievement levels rise when the truth is being taught. 

Get involved now and help us build strong villages of extraordinary children. Let us give them a chance to thrive during their K-12 years and surpass all college expectations. The adults of tomorrow need our help. It’s up to us to lend them a helping hand. 

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Zavia Jarret

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