As people across the country prepare to converge on the nation’s capital for the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington this Saturday, the Boston chapter of the NAACP is gearing up to send more than 200 people to commemorate the historic rally. And many of them are teens who know the 1963 march only through a few paragraphs in a book, or a video recording of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
“When we go to history class, they do teach about black history, but it’ll be a section, a page in the history books. It’s not like where we go and learn about Europe for a good whole semester,” said Marcus Curry, 18. “I feel like as the youth, we need to engage ourselves in these types of events just to better ourselves. Before we can help the community, we need to know where we come from.”
TheGrio spoke with several teens involved in the Boston NAACP’s Summer Job Pipeline to Leadership program who will attend the anniversary march recreation on Saturday, and many echoed the same ideas: black history is relegated to a small slice of a book, or a week in class. Slavery is covered in a couple of pages. Major events like the March on Washington are skimmed over in a few paragraphs and discussions of the Civil Rights Movement include only the most prominent leaders and activists, such as Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks.
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