Include a mandatory black history course in all Canadian school curriculums up to grade 12

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Hi, my name is Essence Evans and I am a black former student of multiple schools across Ontario. Peel District School Board and Rainbow District School Board are the 2 boards that I studied at from the time I started kindergarten until the time I graduated high school.

After spending majority of my life in school as most people in Canada do I find it extremely important that what is taught to students is current, up to date, and inclusive information. I remember being in grade 1 and doing a Christmas show at school and including Kwanzaa, I remember being in grade 5 and our school participated in Black History Month lessons and assembly’s everyday all month.

However, as I got older and moved father north, I started to realize that every year less and less was being taught to us about black history and history in general. I know more about the Greek Gods and World War One than I would have known about the Civil Rights Movement and Slavery had I not researched the topics on my own time.

I see now more than ever, with all of the protests and riots going on that it is extremely important that our government starts to educate everyone on the injustices, immorality, in humane and systemic inequalities that African American and African Canadian people face on a daily basis. It’s not good enough to teach us that the first and last civil rights movement happened 50 years ago and that now we are free because we have constitutional rights. What this does is it makes the youth think that the war ended when the Jim Crow Laws were abandoned. We need properly trained teachers who studied world history, and black history to teach students across Canada our cultures, our inventions, our success, as well as our sufferings our losses and our abuse. There needs to be an in depth look at the current state of black life in North America.

Start teaching the next generation real history and current societal issues that effect us. Make the next generation empathetic to our situations so that when someone decides to be a lawyer, doctor, teacher or police officer they are educated and equipped to do their jobs properly and effectively. Do this so that we never have to protest, or be afraid to be who we are simply because of how we look.