Add It to the Core Curriculum/by Marquisha Mathis

I find it very interesting how you just scroll through social media, regardless of the platform. Especially if you follow news outlets, you always find someone’s opinion or thoughts on a particular topic, and you’re left wondering, “Why didn’t I think of that first?”

The Washington Post made a post on Instagram a couple of weeks ago saying that teenagers and recent graduates from schools around the world want to see the inclusion of more Black history in curriculums, a more thorough teaching of events such as the Civil War and a more diverse range of authors in English syllabi. 

Black history has been around for a long time, but we’re still not seeing it in our everyday lives. Being a senior now at Mississippi College, I wish I had known this before. MC does offer classes about Black history, but I’m just now hearing of these. I was lucky enough to experience my culture more at this institution thanks to the Multicultural Student Association (MSA) last year.

Junior Camryn Johnson, president of MSA, said, “MC offers a few classes about Black history, Mississippi history, and civil rights, but the students who are aware of them are history majors or minors, or students who ask. There’s also a few cultural understanding classes taught here. So, MC should do a better job with incorporating more of these classes with its curriculum and publicizing that they are offered.”

It’s important that all students, specifically minorities, know about these classes so they have the opportunity to experience not just American history, which encompasses so many other things before our time, but also our own classes that focus on Black history and civil rights. It’s key to hear about important figures who have dealt with so much in their lifetime but made a difference and came out on the other side, making a way for the rest of us.

Now, it’s not that we don’t know about our history. It’s the idea that we’re in school to learn. It feels as though we’re only hearing about the history and English classes that are offered in the core curriculum.

Johnson also believes that MC should broaden the history core requirement beyond world civilization and U.S. history as it would be much more beneficial.

I don’t think any of us really know how much of a problem this is. We need to be learning about our history the moment we walk onto the campus. The questions that we have need to be answered as early as we can get it.

The critical issues that we are dealing with today as a society, we need to know that we have classes where those discussions are being talked about. Being students at this university, many of us don’t know about it. We have questions such as, “Why is it like this?” or “Why did this happen?” Answers come from knowing our history and having the opportunity to be a student sitting there listening to those conversations.

If MC would allow us the chance to see these classes in the curriculum, we would actually appreciate it more and look forward to attending our classes. So, MC, add it to the core curriculum.

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