Radical Empathy–Why Black History Month Should Matter to White Folks

Maya QuoteI have a passion for history and literature which I have passed along to my young son. He is drawn to the concept of re-imagined endings and loves to read the You Choose book series; the ending changes based on choices the reader makes throughout the story. He watches Alternate History Hub and spends hours imagining “what if” scenarios.

His 10-year-old mind (and very old soul) gets lost in a story, fiction or nonfiction; he often experiences what he thinks the characters feel so deeply, he can’t sleep. As we talk about Black History Month and what he is learning in school, we spend a lot of time discussing empathy and alternate experiences.

Just imagine for a moment–what if we reversed it? All of it.

It’s February 2015, White History Month. The first white president is serving his 2nd term in office. Throughout the country, protests continue as white people insist their lives matter.

Yes, I know your textbook says American History, but the primary focus is on Black Middle Class Men. Black History is a core requirement; learning white history is optional. Don’t be so sensitive. You white people are always race-baiting, talking about slavery and segregation—especially you angry white women. You have a white president now, what more do you want? Continue reading

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