I am furious. And hurt.

As a historian, it is an honor to have the responsibility of storytelling. Indeed, our history is a collection of stories and a powerful instrument that expresses who we are, what we came from, how we struggle, and how we are strong. So the abuse of this precious privilege always cuts deep.

The education system has long omitted, neglected, distorted and skewed our history through the lens of white privilege and racism. Yet, I was stunned by the level of apathy that was exposed this week when a girls’ school in London, England was forced to issue an apology over the use of offensive material during a high school history lesson on “The Slave Trade”.

Students aged 13 and 14 were given imaginary tools including manacles, whips, thumb screws, iron brands, muskets and barracoons, and asked to devise a Dragon’s Den-style (a reality TV show known as Shark Tank in the US) business proposal for the capture and enslavement of African people. Lesson materials included direction on how to carry out a “slave raid” and manipulate “African Chiefs” through bribes and lacing them with alcohol. Perhaps the most debased suggestions were that the “best” aspect of being a slave trader was having “an affair with a beautiful African girl,” and that adult male “mixed race” offspring could be sent to Africa to “run the slave business” while his white father sailed to America.

Teaching the history of enslavement via a business plan model serves to erase violence, oppression and numerous traumatic events such as the systematic rape of black girls and women. The teacher/s involved in this particular lesson plan saw nothing inappropriate or offensive about their methods. Yet, it would be hard to imagine that these same individuals would sanction a history class on the Holocaust that required students to figure out how to exterminate Jewish people. But black genocide is somehow different, less painful, less abhorrent, and thus vulnerable to trivialization. In 1986, Susan Rice (presently the subject of unjust Republican opposition to her potential nomination for the position of Secretary of State) argued that:

The greatest evil in omitting or misrepresenting Black history, literature, and culture in elementary or secondary education is the unmistakable message it sends to the black child. The message is ‘your history, your culture, your language and your literature are insignificant. And so are you.’

The implicit message of this particular history lesson was not lost on one 13 year old black girl, who in a state of distress complained to her mother about the humiliation she felt during the class. The mother soon after met with two teachers who refused to acknowledge the harm caused to her daughter, and instead sought to justify the innovative approach of the class. They, and later a third teacher, argued that the class emphasized how the slave trade was largely “divorced from moral and social issues”, and that it had been taught for three years without objection.

Perhaps if the narrow objectives of this so-called history lesson were a little broader, then these teachers would have understood that the history of black resistance runs deep in our veins. In the face of the school’s dismissal, the student’s mother contacted Pan African Human Rights Organization Ligali, who filed a formal complaint with the school, and subsequent press release.

In a speedy reversal – which the glare of publicity so often precipitates – the principal publicly apologized on behalf of her staff for being “patronizing” and for the “trivialization” of slavery. The lesson materials were immediately withdrawn with a reassurance that “appropriate steps” had been taken in relation to “possible disciplinary action” against the teacher who devised the class.

If disciplinary action is taken, then I hope it is understood that to scapegoat a single teacher is wholly inadequate, as this case exposes far deeper issues of white privilege and institutional racism within education. It is unclear why this particular class went unchallenged for three years, but such incidents remind us that it is not only a personal but a political imperative that we ask our kids “What did you learn in school today?” It is through our history that we recall, lay claim to, and understand both the past and present. And we cannot afford to abdicate our responsibility to monitor, intervene and challenge the educational system.

  • Love Sosa

    can we get an official link?

    all admins/faculty involved should be fired.

  • AM

    LOL!!

  • Ask_ME

    The pictures used for this post are glaring. This assignment was thoughtless and whoever is responsible needs to be fired immediately.

  • Pink Lipstick

    Wow. I am actually speechless right now. There is absolutely no excuse for this nonsense in 2012. I am also interested in obtaining the contact information of the people responsible for putting this project together.

  • C

    I’m completely disgusted by the whole thing.

  • Apple

    In what part of their brainstorming did they ever think “yep that’s a great idea!” God people are so stupid they don’t even realize how stupid they are

  • http://gravatar.com/missinformation7 Ms. Information

    The Black Holocaust (often called slavery) is romanticized to soften the blow of the real crimes that were committed. History has never really told the true story of slavery in it’s entirety because to do so would mean to compensate (whether monetarily or socially) for the social ills as they have for the Jewish Holocaust and the Indian Holocaust…they paint slavery as if blacks loved it and as if they did us a favor…

  • Sasha

    This is what the post-racial society on the other side of the pond is supposed to look like? Hmmm okay.

  • Sasha

    What exactly caused you to LOL while/ after reading this post? You know what? Nevermind.

  • http://U Yep

    Over 200 comments of eve dealing with a white dude but when a white dude puts out stuff like this, this article doesn’t get more than 10 comments. Many of you black women are str8 up pathetic. Have the nerve to talk mad ish about black men in the Eve dating a white dude article when black men have nothing to do with the article at all n this article doesn’t get more than 10. I need not say any more. Bunch of brain washed idiots is all i see at this website.

  • __A

    I don’t know what to even say about things like this any more. The author is right. They would NEVER do something like this about the Holocaust. Heck they don’t even make light of Israelite enslavement.

    It is amazing how people never want to talk about the African slave trade, but whenever they do it’s always something ridiculous or offensive.

    I can’t even be furious or hurt anymore. People either ignore you or trivialize what happened. I would actually prefer that people ignore it and black folks teach themselves. That is what happens in most schools anyway. They ignore parts of history that aren’t as feel good as The Patriot.

  • Pseudonym
  • Starla

    This should be another glaring reminder that black people mostly have just themselves in this world. The vast majority of the world do not hold us in a good light, to the point that our suffering pass and present is made light of. There are many who would love to see us extinct, and there are many of us who are too willing to help them achieve their end.

    Kudos for this teen who had the courage to speak up and also a courageous mother who pushed this case forward. All the black children who went through with that class in the previous three years without challenging the norms have been irrevocably changed whether they know it or not.

  • http://gravatar.com/missinformation7 Ms. Information

    @ Sasha, I think that she is laughing at the absurdity and the nerve….almost certain…

  • Pseudonym

    What are you talking about? IT’S 10:25 A.M. CST!!!! People on the west coast are still in bed. Articles on Clutch don’t usually make the 100 comment mark until at least after lunchtime and often after 5 because- well- some people do have day jobs. This article was just posted only a few hours ago, so chill out. That article on Eve has been up for over a week- hence all the traffic.

  • kerrita k.

    this lesson speaks to the power of teachers and the need for educators who can deliver content, tell meaningful and intersecting stories, and who are capable of respecting all people from all parts of the globe.

  • http://lorrikey.com Lorri

    Just realized this occurred in London England. As far as we get, there will always be reminders that race is something we as African Americans will always have to “teach” others about. Sad that a young child had to experience this AND that the teacher ignored the parent’s concerns.

  • A.

    Post-racial America, everybody. Smh

  • Leo the Yardie Chick

    *le damn sigh* I’m going to need all these ‘good intentions’ people to just plain STOP having these ‘brilliant’ ideas on how to educate children about slavery. Stop Disneyfying it, stop sanitizing it. All they’re doing is unleashing more people who will think, “That slavery thing wasn’t all that bad! What are people complaining about?”.

  • LaLa

    Loooool
    That’s exactly what I was thinking. Is this person new to Clucth or what, that eve post was out time ago, this article is new and if you think we are idiots why are you on here

  • TonyaA6

    The lesson would have been just as effective had the assignment been to create business plans to sell cars or clothes or baked goods. How can one justify using any human being as something to be bought and sold? In 2012, how can one justify using the enslavement of Africans to teach a lesson on business ownership? There is no justification. It is, however, another example of the contempt that many still hold towards Blacks.

  • London

    “I would actually prefer that people ignore it and black folks teach themselves.”

    @__A. You read my mind. I was going to post the exact same thing, but you said it perfectly. I went to a predominately white high school, where they chose to teach no black history. My history teachers didn’t even bother to write out a lesson for the topic of Slavery. They just mentioned that it happened and moved on.

    It was my parents who decided to put my siblings and I in a Black culture school on Saturdays. They didn’t expect Whitey to teach us about ourselves. Black professors volunteered their time to teach school-aged children Black literature, dance, and history. Those professors were tough because they understood the importance of history and culture! My parents also taught us Black history at home. We were only allowed to read black literature and then had to write reports on the books we read.

    I didn’t understand then, but now I appreciate what my parents did. And I will do the same for my daughter. All Black parents should take our history into our own hands and teach it to our children the right way; with compassion and respect. I don’t expect the same people who enslaved us, beat us, and raped us to turn around and acknowledge that what they did was wrong and praise our resilience. Its never going to happen. Those assholes think that our history is a joke.

  • KitKat

    I’m just shocked that in three years not one student thought maybe this should have been reported. Not one parent was aware of this lesson plan? I don’t want to believe that.

  • AM

    @ Sasha,

    I LOL, as I deem fit! Who are you to police my loling?! THE PHAKK?!!

    @Ms.Info,
    Thanks mama, exactly, AND in addition, I did find the go breed/have an affair with an African girl funny, SHOOT ME. ::)

    Abeg, ah ah, it’s Monday and you are here causing wahala. Sidddown!

  • Liz

    Let me get this straight, you posted at 10:29 AM (aka ante meridian aka before midday aka we’s got jobs) about the dearth of comments on this post that was posted when… December 3rd?

    Within 2.5 hours of posting, the Eve article had 18 (EIGHTEEN) unique posters (Yes, I counted), meaning comments submitted in the comment field and not in the Leave a Reply field. While 18>10, I really don’t see much of a difference.

    Who’s the real idiot?

    Interracial dating articles attract the crazies. A majority of the comments in that post were black women defending their humanity, against people who called us far worse things than “brain washed” “pathetic” and “idiots”.

    Do we not have that right?

    Articles like this one, create a collective sadness in its readers who are left unsure how to respond to such hatred and ignorance. THIS IS NOT APATHY.

    Get a life and take your drivel somewhere else.

  • Liz

    “Affair” with a beautiful African girl? What an interesting choice of words. I always thought “affair” implied some level of consent… not to be confused with, you know, rape…

  • SS25

    Get clue than get life!!

  • Misty_Moonsilver

    Love the way you slipped that little part in about republicans and Susan Rice. Maybe you should also slip in how she was part of the hiding of four dead Americans. And this is disgusting. London has a black population so I don’t know how this was allowed at all for this long!

  • Ashley

    These people show you who they are time and time again, and you refuse to listen and take note. Instead we are always shocked and appalled? Why? It’s ignorance and stupidity on the part of black people to think these people have changed. There plans and feelings towards us have never changed. You are dealing with a group of ppl who lack moral conscience.

  • __A

    Articles like that always get more comments. People like you really irk me. Just because people are drawn to and comment on an article about something that some people see as controversial means that we are brainwashed? There have been articles about Zoe Saldana as Nina Simone, dating, submission, education, the gay fraternity brothers getting married, violence, rap music, problems with BET, natural hair, Chris Brown, weight issues in the black community, and even gentrification that have gotten 100+ comments. And what was it 10,15 women on one article talking about interracial dating that have you with your panties in wad. Dude, get a life.

  • Yb

    Had an “affair” with an African woman huh? Is the little heart supposed to make the rape of enslaved black women cute?

    White people continue to rewrite history as they see fit.

  • The Bishop

    Thank you Ashley. I’m tired of people of color being “appalled” or “surprised” by the level of racism committed by these people of Caucasian decent. The physical, mental, spiritual and economic attack on black men and women globally has risen over the last 10 yrs at alarming rate, however we believe the false narrative that someday in the near future racism will be stamped out for good. We need a wake up call and these little incidents are serving as reminders that the struggle is not over.

  • http://valsotherblog.wordpress.com Val

    I really don’t get why the author of this post is hurt by this. If this sort of thing were an isolated incident then maybe I could understand the hurt. But, this sort of thing happens almost on a daily basis. Racism and bigotry are alive and well here in the U.S. and around the world. Heck, it wasn’t that long ago that Texas changed it’s school textbooks to minimize the evil of those who enslaved of African Americans.

    If you are going to be hurt by White people’s racism so easily, you are going to have a miserable life. It’s fine to acknowledge the racism and to fight against it but don’t allow them to hurt you so easily.

  • C

    Articles with 200+ comments tend to be filled with a bunch of arguing people who love to well, argue and be nasty.

  • edub

    And now black people have gotten themselves into a pickle. You know how and what you enemy thinks, yet you are beholden to his institutions. We should think about this the next time we scream about inclusion.

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    Sadly many do believe that slavery did us a favor. Many believed (and some still do) the price of our enslavement was a tradeoff to “civilize” us. Honestly, I’ am not really shocked. I always laugh when people think we are so post racial and came so far when we really haven’t. You are correct, a lot of people don’t want to truly see/remember our history, the emotional and psychological impact it left generations that we are still dealing with even after the initial crimes because they know they have to apologize for it and admit fault in which most don’t want to do mainly because some much of THEIR history used/benefited from us. Hence the cliff notes version of our history or the gross underselling of it. Never believed the hype people, again as sista Maya Angelou said…”when people show you who they are believed them.”

  • Kam

    We hurt because we’re human. We’re not some superhero mules. Just because the author is hurt doesn’t mean she has a miserable life. Hurt is a natural part of life.

  • MISS_EMCEE

    Since they’re doing the African Slave trade how about the holocaust. holocaust made people billions. As far as the holocaust: ford, bayer, Kodak, IBM, Volkswagen, chase, have made profits. Therefore, create a business plan about the jews being killed and the labor they’ve did with various companies. I wouldn’t have a problem the project if they had to report on the mental and physical side. The mental and physicality kept the business moving. Thus, the teacher should have had some requirements for instance: out of 5 slave babies born 2 must be used as alligator bait, to keep the slaves from running away which is lost of profit take 3 female slaves a year tie her by her feet and cut out her unborn child and stomp on it, have the master rape the male and female child slaves to fear the master as they get older, lynch more male slaves, burn them, and eat their genitiala to show that you the master have no fear.

    What I posted above of course the teacher would not make it an requirement because, slavery is cute, the slave ship was really a cruise ship, the chains were really made of goose down pillow stuffing, and black women love having affairs with white men. As always if you don’t know by now majority of white people are psychopaths. I’m not shocked or surprised. We are dealing with a people who had death concerts in the mid evil times. My bad I forgot it continued until 1960s in the south. My bad I forgot when 50 cops surround unarmed black men and shot him 7484 times ya that just happened 2 minutes ago.

    Nothing has changed with white people they just refine and cloak their evilness better lol.

  • Leo the Yardie Chick

    I’ve heard people say slavery was a blessing, because it gave them Jesus. <_< Yea.

  • jourdan

    WHAT?! There are MUCH better ways to teach about the slave trade. White people have “rewritten” history so many times to soothe that guilty conscious of their’s. But really, I’m annoyed with this “that’s just how it is” attitude. I think we need to raise our expectations as far as how the system teaches kids about slavery and racism.

  • Stop

    Please shut the fuck up with that nonsense. You people have a track record of ruining the lives of others who don’t look like you so why would you say some asinine shit like that? You’re the reason some black don’t respect or support black women. Fuck outta here. And why are you trying to derail the point of the article? Guilty? If the shoe fits… smh

  • Rue

    This^^! Cuz Jesus is soooo f-king AWESOME! I actually haerd someone say slavery “civilized” us poor negroes. I wnt WTF?!?! And Zora Neale Hurston held these same beliefs! I officially quit (actually i can’t but u get the feeling). Sigh…..

  • Pseudonym

    That is very true. Those articles aren’t usually filled with comments about the celebrity or trivial news at hand, but rather back-and-forth arguments between regular trolls (see “shawtie the sweetie” or “Perspective”) who look for any opportunity to write mean and nasty things about black women and totally DERAIL to comments section in an attempt to ruffle feathers and someone who is new to the site and doesn’t recognize them as regular trolls takes them seriously, responds, and then long back-and-forths continue.

    Good point!

  • http://valsotherblog.wordpress.com Val

    Read much? You totally missed my point.

  • Christina

    Miss_Emcee-you NAILED it!!

  • MISS_EMCEE

    They don’t feel guilty, they don’t want a revolution so they alter the history to maintain racism white supremacy. You can’t keep a system intact if the people know the truth because, truth brings change. What they’re trying to soothe is the masses brain to the genocides from the past as right now as you breath on this planet. What they’ve mastered the rewritten of the mind of black people and non white people. I’m not a “our-story” buff yet but, just when you go back and read “his-tory” man you will be pissed for a while lol but, you will look at every thing in your life so different.

  • Caramel

    Althea darling, I don’t know why you should feel hurt by this. Certain people don’t care how uncomfortable other people might feel, they don’t give a hoot!! They only care when it gets dished back to them. They put it out there but they can’t take it. This never would have happened in a school with more minorities. Go figure… But you should never be hurt by what others do, that is their ignorance, not yours and there is nothing you can do about another person’s ignorance if they wish to stay ignorant!!!

  • Caramel

    How about a business plan of the English throwing out the Irish from Ireland. They could come up with a business plan on how to effectively get rid of all the poor people from said country!!!!! How about that!! They could come up with effective ways of starving them like poisoning the potatoe crops and effective ways of usurping their farms, you get the picture.

  • Sho

    Name and shame the school

  • Tony

    To just look over the history of Slavery is an injustice of it self and for you to feel comfortable that racism happens everyday is proof that you have been truly “white” washed. It is people like you who allow others to minimize racism, slavery and injustice and if black people in Texas were up on their game, slavery in those text books would not have been down played. Any black person who comes across any white person who welcomes the ideal of racism in any shape or form rather hidden or out in the open should be verbally taken out on sight. Case in point; our President. They have tried every trick and called him every name in the book except the one they really want. However, as an highly educated black man, who has prepared himself like most black men do for idiots of this type, is 5 steps in front of them. While they are wasting time throwing hidden racial remarks and other nonsense. The President is doing what they can’t do and he is running the country the way it should be ran. So the hell with them and they can’t stand it. The biggest threat to a white man is an educated black man, because they know that we know all about them in the most usual way.

  • Telliacnaxor

    If a Black teacher had given the class an assignment of doing a business plan on how to successfully stage a massacre to kill all the white slave owners and get away with it, that teacher would have been fired, strung up by her fingers and left to blow in the breeze until the birds had had enough.

    How dare this school allow such an assignment and that foolishness about nobody objected to it for the last three years is proof that white people are still teaching their children that it is okay to enslave those of the darker hues because “they really aren’t whole people” and it is sickening to say the least! Of course that black child was going to complain about it, it concerned her race, you morons! Those teachers and the princlpal are sick individuals and they need counseling. Better yet, they need to be forced to take a black history course for three years until they learn what enslavement is really all about and it’s not so much as enslaving the physical body, the detriment lies in enslaving the mind of a slave for generations to come.

  • AM

    @ Sasha,

    I am hereby tendering my apology for having answered you in such a ghettotastic manner. There was no need for all that and then some. I misread your question, and if anything, I should have asked questions to clarify. My due apologies! That was sooooooooo uncalled for.

  • http://www.facebook.com/SeattleQiVet Laura L’Heureux Neal

    England has a long history of institutionalized antisemitism; the fact that there is also bigotry in how black history is taught there is no surprise to me. I bet the portrait of Indian independence is equally full of tolerance in its portrayal. (Yes, that is sarcasm dripping off your monitor.)

  • Tamara

    I don’t , know why I get surprised anymore……

    And for all those saying: ”I can’t believe this, this is 2012, it is not acceptable”

    Trivializing a painful, ugly history like this should never be acceptable, whether it is 2012, or 60 years ago. Some people are acting like because it’s 2012 things are expected to change by default. Incidents like these show that things haven’t changed that much.

    And on another note,

    Slavery should have NEVER been acceptable.

    I’m sick of people saying: ”well, slavery was acceptable back in the 1800s, bla bla, let’s move on’

    but here’s the thing: enslaving people is messed up, it should have never even CROSSED a human being’s mind to think that owning another person, another body, another LIFE is acceptable. But obviously, to have those kind of morals, a person has to have a conscience, and well….

    I guess white people were missing that for a while or something.

    It seems to me like their still not giving a sh*t about us, if they can do something so offensive like planning such a lesson about slavery and teaching it to children.

    Smh…white people STAY denying our humanity.

    White people, erm….

    Can you not?

    I thought y’all were the ”civilized” ones though.

  • marcus

    Susan Rice is not someone you should be quoting to buttress this otherwise excellent blog. She’s a moral hypocrite when she talks about the “message given to the black child.” She doesn’t give a damn about the “message given to the Palestinian child” (Muslim & Christian) when she defends the right of Israel to incinerate them with thousands of bombs laced with white phosphorous, F-16 strikes and brutal racist occupation. She’s not the only American black liberal who doesn’t give a shit about the mass murder of thousands of brown people who happen to be born in countries the US is perpetually at war with.

  • http://www.facebook.com/NoCaMo1 Norberto Carlos Moran

    Economic slavery, thus ownership of people occurs today….should that also be illegal?

  • pat

    @Tamara
    Not to trivilize your point but AFRICANS owned and sold other AFRICANS into slavery.

  • stoneyage

    Agree with you wholeheartedly. Jews constantly remind the world of their Holocaust through literature and movies. Who are we blacks expecting to tell our history? We have to do it ourselves, but we don’t really want to. Steven Spielberg went so far as to direct a movie called Amistad that tells a tale about slavery, but how many blacks have bothered to see it or have taken their children?

  • MISS_EMCEE
  • Pingback: Students Told to Create a Business Plan for Enslaving Africans in London England « Knitting and Sljivovica

  • Jennifer

    If you are going to write a blog you should get your facts straight.

    First the class was taught to 9 year old little girls.

    The aim of the class was “to make clear to the students just how wide-ranging involvement in the slave trade was; that it was not just the work of a few individuals and also that there were many who benefited both directly and indirectly from the trade. In fact, that there was considerable collusion of many groups within British society at the time who were prepared to ignore the human and moral issues because of society’s appetite for commodities such as cotton, tobacco, sugar.”

    From Ligali : The [mother] has indicated that she requires the school to acknowledge the fact that her daughter suffered distress and desires that in the future, the topic is taught using learning resources that are sensitive to the horrors of African enslavement and do not include tasks seeking children to recreate or re-imagine the horrific events.

    I do agree that some of the slides were sanitized, but the mother didn’t complain about this and I think her daughter may have suffered greater distress if they portrayed the rape of black women more graphically to a group of 9 year old little girls.

    Personally, although I think the content could be improved, I applaud this school for teaching a subject that has been largely ignored and I think personalizing the experience may have a greater impact on the students than dryly teaching the facts.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tanicka.booth MrzSunkissed Booth

    Actually and educated black woman is his biggest threat. The black woman and the white man are polar opposites. Keep her down he stays on top. so while our brothers screaming bout the white man… its his female counterpart her need to watch.

  • Jointarms

    Retain the outside structures of the institutions but re-model the interior to reflect the face of all people’s.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ronessiab Ronessia Bey

    please refrain from using Susan rice as an example. after all if she were really concerned with the plight and image of black folk she would have married one.she didn’t.case closed

  • http://danielleabeda.com daniellesmall

    That was to trivialize her point and the slavery you are talking about was more akin to indentured servitude.

  • Jointarms

    The reason White people could not and will not apologize for the Translantic Slave Trade and its profound negative cost to human life and continued crippling effects to the growth of an entire race is enschrined in their fundamental believe in Christ. A religious idea they created to rid themselves of their crimes and escape the tyranny of the Monarch and House of Solomon. However, that is not the same with the Jews. Jews never accepted Christ as their savior. Some Black Americans did. So, if you submit to them, White’s feel they don’t owe you an apology. Think about this, if steping on the Moon was a giant step for Mankind, then the Translantic Slave Trade of African People’s to the New World by Whites is a travesty for Mankind.

  • kliff

    That’s European American to you, not “white people” or cracker. Get it correct if you feel you have the right to be called african and not blackie or something else stupid. How much have you donated to the starving people of africa? European Americans have had nothing to do with the famine over there…..total negro on negro crimes and no whiteys “denying our humanity”. Gget it right and move forward, not in reverse like the racist you are.

  • Jointarms

    The reason White people could not and will not apologize for the Translantic Slave Trade and its profound negative cost to human life and continued crippling effects to the growth of an entire race is enschrined in their fundamental believe in Christ. A religious idea they created to rid themselves of their crimes and escape the tyranny of the Monarch and House of Solomon. However, that is not the same with the Jews. Jews never accepted Christ as their savior. Some Black Americans did. So, if you submit to them, White’s feel they don’t owe you an apology. Think about this, if steping on the Moon was a giant step for Mankind, then the Translantic Slave Trade of African People’s to the New World by Whites is a travesty to Mankind.

  • kliff

    you must blame arabs and islam for the slavery issues of that time period…and yes many africans sold each other out in the 1700′s and 1800′s. please refrain from saying “we” did not sell….the ONLY tie you actually have to Africa is your skin color….that’s like saying all people with slanted eyes belong to China….get real

  • Jointarms

    I don’t know why the Native People’s ever allowed your kind to settle here.

  • Jointarms

    You will get your answer if you can figure this out. How do you get Black Progressives to De-Colonialize while keeping the face of Colonialism? It could prove difficult for a snake to shed its skin if is doesn’t feel it is safe to do so!

  • Jointarms

    Rather than love Jesus, why not learn about your history as a people. Maybe this could be a start. Jesus Christ, yeah right. Where was Jesus in Africa? Where was Jesus Christ in Asia? Where was he in the ME? Where was he before the White man came to the Americas? Jesus Christ is a fable. Get real people.

  • Jointarms

    Convenient for you to sit behind your computer and talk about charity to the Black people of Africa. Such is like kicking a person in the knee then offering them pain medication. How about we switch roles? Oh, my guess is you wouldn’t feel so comfortable with your stinking charity work now would you? Yeah, we all saw how, let me use your characterization, “European” Americans behaved after we elected the first mixed race President. On the other hand, you prefer something stupid like, “the first Muslim President.” We’ll see how you fair when China becomes King, maybe you will be glad to praise their charity to the broke EU block. Idiot!

  • Jointarms

    Convenient for you to recommend “dryly teaching the facts” but would recommend to the United Nations to remove certain Holocaust Education for Holacaust Remembrance from it Heritage sites. You know, we really don’t need historical facts to suit your characterization. You abject dryly dismissive fool.

    http://www.unesco.org/new/en/brussels/areas-of-action/education/education-for-holocaust-remembrance/

  • Anthony

    I can see why this excercise was seen as offensive, but the project did drive home the point that the slave trade was a business, and that often great profits have been made from the suffering of others.

  • pat

    @MISS EMCEE
    Africans had their own trade routes…selling cloth, provisions, cowries, etc before the arabs or europeans came.Africans numbered in the millions…..It would have been impossible to enslave so many people without the help and participation of Africans themselves.No doubt, some Africans were kidnapped and Africans did fight back against the arabs and Europeans, but those trade routes Africans always had made the selling of Africans(prisoners of war,warring tribes, etc.Not fathers or mothers selling children, or brothers sisters selling each other.) relatively easy and very lucrative for Africans(esp chiefs,etc) and others.It is an ugly truth but truth nevertheless.

    In fact I have read where slavery in parts of Africa did not end until the 1950s…and it is still going on in places like Mauritania and who knows, maybe some other parts of Africa.So, yes,maybe the nature of Africans enslaving each other was different from the nature of the transatlantic slave trade, but Africans did participate and benefitted but also lost…changing the destiny of Africa and Africans forever.

  • Bigpoppasmoke

    Grouping all wite people together is racist, not all people with light skin think or act alike. I doubt you would be ok with I reversed the roll and talked about how all black people are the same because of the color of their skin.

  • cts

    kliff….actually, it has been proven that peace corps is somewhat responsible for the agricultural issues in sub-Saharan Africa. farming methods successful on american soil were practiced there by the corps, thus ruining the soil, causing wide spread famine. fortunately, europeans and americans remedied the situation twenty + years later with efforts like live aid and usa for africa. just a thought and just saying

  • http://twitter.com/kfestus kfestus (@kfestus)

    I think this curriculum plan is awesome. We spend way too much time concentrating on the morality and the suffering of slavery. This was a huge business. Knowing that it was a huge business informs us as to why it was so prevalent. This is the white perspective on slavery. White benefit is what we so often miss in our discussion of this process. Knowing who suffered, as well as who benefited and how, helps put the responsibility where it belongs. Slavery didn’t just happen. People made it happen. People wanted it to happen. These people were mostly white people. Know this, and teach it.

  • http://www.urbanexpressive.com J. Nicole

    So very true! And when we do, we are being bitter and can’t give up the past. At first, I wanted to not be *as* upset because its the UK, thinking “Ok maybe they don’t share the emotional connection”, but geesh the British benefited from enslaved Africans. Like many who use their white privilege I’m sure they thought figured they wouldn’t have to address the concerns of a black person questioning how they do their job. I’m glad stories like this get around, as well as similar instances in the US where the curriculum in schools is being blatently whitewashed

  • Jointarms

    Maybe you would say does kind words if that suffering happened to be of the people who share your heritage. Yes, pun intended! Dipshit.

  • Wiseman

    Do you want to hear a FABLE? JESUS CHRIST is and was a FABLE
    European Barbarians (modern day Caucasian race) invaded AFRICA after the conquest of the Roman Empire. With their new found power and stolen knowledge, these Barbarians murdered in the millions during the Crusades. They then sort to colonize in the 19th century and therefore set to conquer the great people of AFRICA. They looted, raped, pillaged, burned, exploited, de-humanized, incarcerated, occupied lands, stole resources, en-slaved millions of colored people and then in the end, they sort to change who they were by writing the greatest FABLE ever told, the story of an imaginary Son of GOD to the people they enslaved. In essence, conveniently expressing their hatred in BIBLICAL text, in that these people of AFRICA are truly animals and cannot figure out that they are forever gullible; they WIPED OUT YOUR HISTORY AND THE IDENTITY OF MILLIONS OF PEOPLE WHO DON’T LOOK LIKE THEM! They even adopted the so called belief in a monotheistic GOD bullshit and sort to rid themselves of their crimes by claiming JESUS CHRIST died for their sins. Now that is a FABLE. Wake-up, you are all at risk of being wiped off the face of the Earth if you continue your thirst for materialism and fail to see.

  • Anthony

    Fool, I did not say anything kind about the project! I said it showed how much cruelty hs been involved in capitalism. By the way I am quite black dumbass.

  • http://twitter.com/iPorzellanpuppe Epiphanie (@iPorzellanpuppe)

    I would be appalled, however, the racial insensitivity has become so rampant throughout the Westren world, it’s hard not to be numb in feeling towards reports like these. It does however, motivate me to continue to pass down my family’s history to my future children when the time comes. Myself and my sibling are fortunate enough to have parents who firmly believed in passing down all the knowledge they had of their people. Even though we are both adopted at birth. Our parents, grandparents and when he was still of this world my great great uncle the son of sharecroppers and grandson of slaves. All of them shared their histories and the history of our people. They filled in the blanks of what was distorted or completely unacknowledged in school, so that we were never to take this bastardization of our peoples history at face value. And just like we didn’t, neither shall our children or their children and so on. You can only fight ignorance armed with knowledge. That’s what it’s going to take to claim our history, past and present. We must continue to learn about us and pass that knowledge on. Whether it be to the next generations or amongst our own generations. No one of any other ethnicity is ever going to tell it truthfully or wholly or with any truly sincere apathy or sympathy. I’m 25 and I’ve known this to be true at a very young age. They have no obligation to because it brings them no other benefit that to see us continually torn apart and forever struggling to find our own. So the responsibility is on us Blacks, Negros, Africans, Moors and all other disassociated pigmented peoples of our race. Learn then educate and then, learn some more.

  • http://twitter.com/Sub_Effect Subjective Effect (@Sub_Effect)

    It’s an interesting take on it to be sure, and I think the backlash is utterly ridiculous PCness, as per usual.

    Teaching kids how awful the system was because of all of these horrible business choices, the terrible way the slaves were perceived and treated is a good thing.

    We shouldn’t shy away from this any more than we should shy away from teaching kids how industrial the Holocaust was.

    You learn from your mistakes. Hiding them is wrong.

  • Everdene

    Slaving wasn’t a genocide comparable to the Holocaust. Sure, people got killed, but the whole point of slaving was to keep the ‘assets’ alive. Hyperbole doesn’t help your case.

  • Pingback: Students Taught How To Enslave/Sell Africans [The Apocalypse] : CollegeCandy – Life, Love & Style For The College Girl

  • Jointarms

    Would you be so happy if a pregnant family member’s baby was beaten out of her and she died internal bleeding. Calous asinine hater!

  • http://www.facebook.com/chantaylegacyleonard Chantay Legacy Leonard

    What an uninformed and ignorant reply? When any group of people use violence, slavery, oppression, repression and death against an entire group of people due to a superiority complex or for economical gain — based on race or ethnicity, whether it is 6 million Jewish PEOPLE that died or 10 million Africans that died as a direct consequence of the slave trade—it is still a tragedy and a holocaust. How dare you insinuate one is less or more relevant than the other. Those were human beings who died, no matter the horrendous back story.

    I am completely outdone.

  • Jointarms

    Do you want evidence? Okay let me try to summarize this for you.
    There are 27 member nations in European Union, all were involved and complicit in the Translantic Slave Trade of Africa (known in Swahili as Maafa meaning “holocaust” or “greater disaster”). You will hear Caucasians try to exonerate themselves by saying, well, I wasn’t involved, or Africans sold themselves, or just move on people (tell that shit to the JEWS about the holocaust), or it wasn’t that bad. Hmmm, let me think, how many time does a murderer admit he committed the crime once in front of the judge. My guess is probably none (shithead). So in this case, Caucasians have no SAY. The Atlantic slave traders, ordered by trade volume, were: the Portuguese, the British, the French, the Spanish, the Dutch, and the Americans. They had established outposts on the African coast where they purchased slaves captured by pirates from Europe. Current estimates are that about 12 million were shipped across the Atlantic, although the actual number purchased by the traders is considerably higher.
    Remember the League of Nations, these European countries were looking for trade opportunity in Africa so they had a secret meeting were all representatives of each European nation excluding the eastern Europeans, you know the people you Barbarians fear the most; U.S.S.R or let me say RUSSIA. These SOB’s carved out Africa and sort to invade, conquer and colonize. Oh, I forgot the architect of these horrible disgraces to mankind was the United Kingdom and her minions, America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Switzerland, and the rest of the Scandinavian countries. Yes, you Caucacians are innately EVIL BEAST.

  • Jointarms

    Do you want evidence? Okay let me try to summarize this for you.
    There are 27 member nations in European Union, all were involved and complicit in the Translantic Slave Trade of Africa (known in Swahili as Maafa meaning “holocaust” or “greater disaster”). You will hear Caucasians try to exonerate themselves by saying, well, I wasn’t involved, or Africans sold themselves, or just move on people (tell that shit to the JEWS about the holocaust), or it wasn’t that bad. Hmmm, let me think, how many time does a murderer admit he committed the crime once in front of the judge. My guess is probably none (shithead). So in this case, Caucasians have no SAY. The Atlantic slave traders, ordered by trade volume, were: the Portuguese, the British, the French, the Spanish, the Dutch, and the Americans. They had established outposts on the African coast where they purchased slaves captured by pirates from Europe. Current estimates are that about 12 million were shipped across the Atlantic, although the actual number purchased by the traders is considerably higher.
    Remember the League of Nations, these European countries were looking for trade opportunity in Africa so they had a secret meeting were all representatives of each European nation excluding the eastern Europeans, you know the people you Barbarians fear the most; U.S.S.R or let me say RUSSIA. These SOB’s carved out Africa and sort to invade, conquer and colonize. Oh, I forgot the architect of these horrible disgraces to mankind was the United Kingdom and her minions, America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Switzerland, and the rest of the Scandinavian countries. Yes, you people are innately EVIL BEAST.

  • Jointarms

    LOL at this turd licker:
    There are 27 member nations in European Union, all were involved and complicit in the Translantic Slave Trade of Africa (known in Swahili as Maafa meaning “holocaust” or “greater disaster”). You will hear Caucasians try to exonerate themselves by saying, well, I wasn’t involved, or Africans sold themselves, or just move on people (tell that shit to the JEWS about the holocaust), or it wasn’t that bad. Hmmm, let me think, how many time does a murderer admit he committed the crime once in front of the judge. My guess is probably none (shithead). So in this case, Caucasians have no SAY. The Atlantic slave traders, ordered by trade volume, were: the Portuguese, the British, the French, the Spanish, the Dutch, and the Americans. They had established outposts on the African coast where they purchased slaves captured by pirates from Europe. Current estimates are that about 12 million were shipped across the Atlantic, although the actual number purchased by the traders is considerably higher.
    Remember the League of Nations, these European countries were looking for trade opportunity in Africa so they had a secret meeting were all representatives of each European nation excluding the eastern Europeans, you know the people you Barbarians fear the most; U.S.S.R or let me say RUSSIA. These SOB’s carved out Africa and sort to invade, conquer and colonize. Oh, I forgot the architect of these horrible disgraces to mankind was the United Kingdom and her minions, America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Switzerland, and the rest of the Scandinavian countries. Yes, you Caucasians are innately evil.

  • Sarah Morehouse

    I suspect this *could* have been a great way to teach it, had it been handled better. When I was in school they totally glossed over slavery and the slave trade. This is much better than that because at least it addresses the really ugly side (of something that is ugly in the best light!) The “business angle” was dominant – it is a true case of the banality of evil. But in the wrong teacher’s hands, or if that teacher happens to be too tired and burnt out to handle it right, it comes across as incredibly callous and amoral.

    I am not sure that all 13 and 14 year olds are ready to appreciate the sarcasm in, “The best part is, you get to have an affair with a beautiful African woman!” In fact, that’s the kind of bitter humor that not everyone can deliver well to every audience. The chance of misinterpretation is high, and the damage to trust caused by that misinterpretation is very bad.

  • Sarah Morehouse

    It was not always the “whole point.” In the earlier years of tobacco and rice plantations, and for house servants and hired out slaves, yes it was. Also in the upper south, lot of the money came from selling the children of slaves. However, in the sugar cane and cotton plantations of the deep south, it was cheaper to buy slaves, work them to death, and buy more.

    Besides that, many slaves died in transport, many died of exposure and malnutrition whenever times were bad (because while you might not *want* them to starve, you would reserve resources for your white family) and many were abused/punished to death.

    It was a genocide. It just wasn’t as efficient as the Holocaust.

  • Christina

    EXACTLY “JointArms”! Well said!

  • http://gravatar.com/thesabrinamessenger Sabrina

    This is beyond inappropriate in the way this was put out there. It’s one thing to teach about slavery, but quite enough to appear to condone the practise!

  • John

    This is why education is so important. King Leopold II of Belgium owned the entire Congo during his reign and subsequently murdered 10 Million Africans along with enslaving and trading them.

    So yes, genocide is the proper term. it’s just no one cares if Africans are exterminated, but the man who attempted to exterminate “God’s chosen people” becomes the embodiment of evil.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jewellthief Farringtonsmyname Jewellthief

    something tells me if this ‘exercise’ that had been going on for the past 3 years was changed to how to exterminate the jews via Hitler’s third reich business plan, the lesson wouldn’t get out the teacher’s lounge, let along be pushed by the department head and the principal….

  • karmell

    I would like to see the make-up of the class. In most of my classes growing up I was the only black person in the class. When something like this would come up, I’d be the ONLY person to speak up. So yes, in that case I can see how they would say ‘no one has ever complained before’ Because the previous classes didn’t care – they were all white. They never taught the same lesson plan in the classes with black children because they knew they would get complaints.

  • Anthony

    I must have expressed myself poorly the first time, so i will try it again. I do not approve of this project, and I think it was insensitive. The point I tried to make is that I do think the project drove home the fact that slavery was a business, and that people consciously chose to make a profit based on what was clearly the suffering of others. I think that fact is something that students need understand about the history of capitalism because we need to raise new generations of people who are not willing to cause others pain for money. As blatantly horrible as slavery was, we still live in a world where people are willing to hurt others for profit whether it is something as obvious as a drug dealer or pimp, or people who hide behind the law like payday lenders or those who preyed on minorities selling mortgages that were designed to rise to the point that they knew the lenders could not pay them.

    In would also say to jointarms, I am apologize for cursing you. That is not the way i normally act in a forum. I will say that I responded to the fact that you cursed me, but responding in kind is never good. The bottom line is that I don’t see why we can’t simply criticize each other without calling names. Name calling does not make anyone’s argument stronger,. In fact, it makes adults sound like kids on a schoolyard. Since I was guilty of doing too, I apologize to jointarms and the rest of the people who post here on Clutch.

  • Vampie

    Umm… No, not all of EU nations. As for the rest of your comment you’re right.

  • Jointarms

    The ‘taming’ of the colony
    The British, during colonial times, used education as a tool to further dominate and oppress Nigerians, a tool to cultivate a ‘proper’ style of thinking. The inculcation of this style of thinking came in the guise of Christianity:
    The British officials who were themselves Christians were representing, as Lord Lugard himself claimed, ‘the most Christian nation’ in the world. British occupation in Nigeria was therefore synonymous with Christian evangelism, and the concept of ‘civilizing’—helping the benighted Africans to accept Christianity and Western civilization—became the order of the day (Fafunwa 71)
    Therefore, the first form of Western education in Nigeria was led by the missionaries, and they, without exception, used the schools as a means of converting the indigenous people to Christianity. During this time, the Church Missionary Society (C.M.S.) and the Methodist Missionary Society were the first British Christian organizations to set up schools in Nigeria. Most of their work was conducted in the southern half of Nigeria, where it was deemed ‘safer.’ Some of their achievements included the translation of the Bible into the local languages such as Yoruba, Ibo, Efik and Nupe, the introduction of vocational or industrial education, the use of English as the vernacular, and the establishment of a ‘proper’ code of conduct for the localities. Most of the schools set up by these missions were boarding schools, for they believed that “if children were to develop along civilized lines, their daily life must be supervised, controlled and directed along ‘proper lines’. That is, if a ‘raw’ African is to be made a civilized, Christian black European, he must be isolated from the evil influences of his pagan past and present” (Fafunwa 99).
    Some of the British commandants intentionally chose certain aspects of Christianity that were taught in the schools. For instance, S.I.M. missionaries were Canadians and Lugard, the British leader in Nigeria, supported their industrial aim but strongly objected to their type of religious, Christian preaching: “’I am informed that they preach the equality of European and natives, which, however true from a doctrinal point of view, is apt to be mis-applied by people in a low stage of development, and interpreted as abolition of class [and race] distinction’” (Fafunwa 102-3). Therefore, the British chose what portions of their Christianity that they thought ought to be represented in their educational style in order to further subject ‘people in a low stage of development’ (i.e., Nigerians) to their command. Between 1850 and 1960, the activities, discipline and style of teaching that existed in these schools reflected the properties that the British ‘educators’ believed a good Nigerian citizen ought to have: “A ‘good’ citizen in Nigeria … meant one who was African by blood, Christian by religion and British or French in culture and intellect” (Fafunwa 71).
    As seen here, the British used education as a tool to cultivate religious and cultural hegemony in Nigerians. The colonialists oppressed the inhabitants by subjecting them to … foreign values. This form of oppression explicitly illustrates Ernest Gellner’s theory that education is a means of subjugating people to a cultural hegemony; such subjugation then leads to the domination of a people: “Gellner’s theory is constituted by the argument that the existence of a uniform educational system exists which is the primary state agent employed as progenitor of… cultural homogeneity” (Gutierrez 165). In this case, the progenitor was the Christian education (of course, without those controversial portions of the religion that might undermine British power), and the [result] was the inculcation of British principles and morals.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.lieder.5 Tim Lieder

    No. It wasn’t a genocide. It was a horrible trade that killed millions of people, but for something to be a genocide the purpose of the murders must be murder and only murder. Often the evidence to support the genocide is just how little it accomplishes beyond the genocide. The Turks massacring a million Armenians, the Holocaust, the genocides in Rwanda and former Yugoslavia fit that definition.

    So even though more Africans died in the slave trade, the purpose of the slave trade was free labor. By that same token, the Jews who were trapped in their synagogue as it was set on fire in the 12th century were murdered in order for one noble family to show that it was more powerful than the other noble family without much regard to the people being murdered.

    That doesn’t make it any better than genocide and in many ways it might even be worse (I mean at least the perpetrators of genocide care about the people that they are murdering en masse) but it is still not genocide and using a term incorrectly begins the process of rendering it moot (for example – fascism should NOT be “any government that we think is crap”)

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.lieder.5 Tim Lieder

    You do know that Africa was part of the Roman Empire and that St. Augustine was African right? And that Africans embraces Christianity long before Islam ever appeared on the scene.

    Probably not. The fact that 17 people like your crazy ramblings is kind of sad.

  • Jointarms

    Anthony, in retrospect, I rescind the incindiary language used in response to your earlier comments. I mis-interpreted your characterization. Moving forward, I anticipate we can move to a more in-line position of interest.

    Jointarms

  • N4AChange

    May u b blessed n all ur good deeds……continue to edducate and we will continue to grow

  • Nakia

    But never, ever, ever into chattel slavery, never in the millions of people and rarely for a life (and inter-generational) term. There is an immense difference. Do not allow others to teach you your history.

  • Nakia

    Self-education is imperative to the healing of the African diaspora. Period. This is a great justification for that truth. Until that is wholly and fully part of the plan and put into action, our children will suffer on numerous levels. We must have our own schools on much larger scale than the relatively few African-centered institutions that exist now.

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