So this is me chiming in about an outstanding movie I saw weekend before last. Talking with a co-worker this morning, I realized I never sent out the blog post I wanted to write. We were discussing a history teacher in another county over that was fired for teaching outside of what is ‘required’. We discussed how little what is ‘required’ runs parallel to what is ‘uplifting’.
I thought about the film ‘Free State of Jones’ and the fact that this was another history lesson that must have been too uplifting to meet the levels of required teaching. Free State was the true story of Newton Knight a Mississippi farmer who decided that he was sick of fighting in a war that would only benefit slave owners. I saw the movie with a friend and afterwards we went on about how we’d never heard a lick of this story. My friend; who reads ALL the time and ALL sorts of material, couldn’t believe this one had slipped by her.
I won’t go into overwhelming detail here, I just wanted to speak out about the film and encourage you to take your kids to see it. Chances are they won’t get a whiff of this in their history classes. There are so many stories like this that have been lost in time. Whether the lack of instruction; on these relevant slices of history, has been intentional or unintentional it doesn’t matter. The point is that we’ve got to start educating ourselves so that we can let the generations coming up behind us know that there’s more to who we are than what we’ve been told in school. Knowledge is power and its benefit on young minds can be phenomenal. I was blessed to grow up in a house with lots of books and with parents who discussed much of the history my sister and I never got in school. Still, I continue to uncover information in films such as “Amazing Grace” and in books such as “They Came Before Columbus” by Dr. Ivan Van Sertima. These discoveries make the learning process a true adventure. They are adventures I hope we can all learn to appreciate more and share with young minds.