Education Underplays Slavery’s Role in America

December 19, 2011 | CUNY Lecture Series, New York City College of Technology

The proper teaching of African enslavement in America as a central component of American history remains a great failure of primary and secondary education, according to Khalil Gibran Muhammad, the new director of Harlem’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Speaking to students at New York City College of Technology, Muhammad cited data showing only 2 percent of high school seniors know the basics of the long struggle for civil rights and that only 15 states require the inclusion of slavery as a key factor in the Civil War. “Slavery is not an aberration in the American story; it is the quintessential American story,” he said.