A Historical Framework
for Multicultural Education
A black psychiatrist recently wrote:
We said we'd like the National Institute of Mental Health to set up an institute or task force to study racism or white supremacy.They didn't say they wouldn't set up such a task force or institute. They said we will set up an institute to study minority groups. In other words, "we won't study ourselves, but we will study you." 1
A comprehensive study of racism, which must form a central part of multicultural education, needs to be viewed as a reciprocal exploration of majority and minority.
The American public school long ago was forced into the service of prevailing racial conceptions.For decades, in both the North and the South, outright exclusion of minority children and denigration of their cultures were standard practices.Today, whether by design or thoughtlessness, many of the practices still abound. A historical study can reveal some of their roots and thereby provide educators with a more realistic understanding of the dimensions of the problem.
One large group of minorities was incorporated within U.S. society by force and violence—including enslavement and conquest.
Copyright © 1974 by Meyer Weinberg