Why to Teach Dead White Authors, Even During Black History Month - The Atlantic
I went on to teach Shakespeare’s Othello, Emerson’s Self-Reliance, and other classics with the same fervor. Although James didn’t always seem engaged, many of my students were. So when you are determining what to teach this Black History Month, by all means, teach Baldwin and Wright and Ellison and Hurston and Walker and Hughes and Morrison and Brooks and Angelou—but don’t do so in isolation. Teach Lincoln on his birthday this February, and read from Lyndon B. Johnson, John F. Kennedy, and Barack Obama this President’s Day. Black history, after all, is American and world history. Teach it in the context of the human condition all year round.