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Bernice King: Radical Change Needed in Education System

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[Bernice King] Unless there is a crisis, people don't typically come out of their comfort zones. And that's unfortunate. And so for me, I think that there has to be something that is intentionally done to move us in that direction. One of the places that I think we have to really look at sincerely is in our educational system. Because America still is very divided in our educational system. And we—again, when I talk about cross-cultural learning, we are not ensuring that all kids are learning to appreciate all cultures—in particular, those cultures who have come out of a history of discrimination and oppression. Who—while that was a part of their history, also had some great contributions that they made to America. I mean, the number of blacks who invented things— most people don't even know everything we benefit from today— the base of it, at least—it came out—was invented by an African-American. And so something has to radically shift in the educational arena, so that young people can begin to understand who we are as Americans— not necessarily I'm black, I'm white, Hispanic—yes, appreciate that. But also, understand our commonality, and be able to move forward with that. And being honest about some of the painful parts of our past. It was my hope and prayer that more and more people would have been able to see 12 Years a Slave. I saw the movie, and I was like, my God, this is an eye-opening movie. And I—I told people, you need to take a young person, your children, some young people—and talk to them about that. And it needed to be not just black kids—it needed to be all young people so that they would better understand that history and have an honest conversation about how we got there— how we came through that— and how we still have other things that we have to work through That some people feel is another form of slavery.

Video Details

Duration: 2 minutes and 35 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Genre: None
Views: 26
Posted by: aarp on Jan 29, 2014

Education is key to understanding and to stimulating the dialogue we still need to have. Dr. Bernice A. King is the daughter of the late civil rights leaders Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King, and is the CEO of The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change ("The King Center").

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