What They Don’t Tell You About Black History
March 10, 2018
They don’t tell you that Wall Street was the first place to operate a slave market. Thousands
of slaves and free blacks were buried in that area.
In 1851 New York Mayor Ambrose Kingsland decided to create a park ranging from 59th to
106th street. There was a community already there. That community was two-thirds black and the rest was Irish. New York ignored them and created Central Park.
They don’t tell you that 15-year-old Claudette Colvin refused her bus seat nine months before Rosa Parks.
They don’t tell you that 600 black men were lied to for 40 years by the Public Health Service in the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, starting in 1932. 399 of the men had latent syphilis; the others were the control group. Antibiotic treatment of syphilis became effective in 1940. The men
with the disease were not helped when they started to die from the disease. They do tell you that the study was very useful for medical science. In 1972, the study was shut down after public outrage.
They don’t tell you about redlining, in which banks and insurance companies refused or limited loans, mortgages or insurance within specific geographic areas, especially inner-city neighborhoods. This almost exclusively affected black/POC communities. They don’t tell you that redlining still exists.
They don’t tell you about the poet Audre Lorde, a black feminist and lesbian mother first published in 1951.
They don’t tell you about how the Underground Railroad worked. They don’t tell you about black codes.
They don’t tell you about the hundreds of slaves that invented things we use every day but which don’t bear their inventors’ names.
The “they” I have been referring to is the education system. The education system is an institution. This lack of knowledge that is being hidden from us is institutionalized racism.