Schools are where the most learning happens for the future generation. However, a lot of students aren't learning either the full details of slavery, or the truth about slavery and other acts of civil right violations that African Americans have gone through. Slavery has been an important aspect of United State's history, ever since the first slave boat arrived on American soil in 1619.
However, in schools, there are details about slavery being filtered in textbooks. In the 20th century, some textbooks tried to remove negative portrayals of slavery. Maureen Costello, director of the SPLC (Southern Poverty Law Center) states "[students] learn about Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, or Frederick Douglass very early on as heroes who oppose slavery. And they are not taught what slavery is, until 4th or 5th grade, and often in surprising ways."
In a study out of 1,000 high school seniors, conducted by SPLC, they found that less than eight percent of students knew why Southern states seceded from the union; only 12 percent knew about the economic importance of Slavery in the North, and only 18 percent were able to name an important result of Nat Turner's 1831 slave revolt.
A book from 1916 entitled A child's History of North Carolina focused on slavery's profitability but tended to erase the violence of slavery. The enslaved people were presented as happy, and that southern slaves were reluctant to even own slaves. Obviously, that is not the case. Slaves brought extreme amounts of profit to the South, and the south was thriving off of that money and free labor.
Writer for the Washington Post, Joe Heim states "[f]or many students at the time, the most in depth learning they had about slavery was from the show Roots." A main problem, is that teachers don't either know the content, or don't want it to be too violent for the children. In another study done by SPLC, they found that only a little over half of that were surveyed, said they spoke about the continued legacy of slavery, and less than half said that they used original documents in their teachings. Interviews with those teachers also showed that they wanted to spare the children from its brutality, or were concerned about their age and the levels of appropriateness.
There are still a lot of schools that aren't teaching students the full truth about slavery and the violation of civil rights. Whether they want to spare the students from the harsh details, or don't have the resources, it's still a major topic that needs to be discussed truthfully.