If Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr was treated by our society as AMERICAN history, instead of Black history, a lot more ordinary non-black people would be posting his quotes today and participating in honoring him in various ways. And not just quoting the inspiring words from his “I Have A Dream” speech.
Everyone would be highlighting how he advocated for people in poverty no matter what race. We would knowledgeably talk about his advocacy of a living wage, his fight against war and police violence.
And that is a problem in our society. The whole of America has to view and honor heroes of color as American heroes and treat them the same as Paul Revere, for example, a citizen who did an extraordinary thing, but was not a person in government leadership. We have to teach this way in schools. American history lessons should include not just founding fathers but address the other side of the story equally in the lesson. Whether the leader/hero is Black, Latino, Asian, White, Native American or any other ethnicity that makes up America, whether female or male, those people should naturally be incorporated into the American history courses.
That is true equality. Teaching the full range of history, not just the narrow one that primarily features White males. When children are taught that these are the only people who contributed positively and primarily to America, you end up with rhetoric from people who don’t recognize that immigrants and people with brown skin have contributed greatly to creating, building and maintaining America, beyond what is documented and taught in school and at home.
The Civil Rights movement, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr wasn’t just for black people. It was for America — for everyone.