Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Black History Month: Remembering Today’s Fight

By Kevin P. Chavous

During Black History Month, students across the country pause to celebrate the great contributions of African Americans, ranging from Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream, the brave actions of many in Selma, Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her seat, or Frederick Douglass’ fight against the injustice of slavery.

These are just a small sample of the contributions African Americans have provided to our country. All suffered injustice. Some were able to see change, others were able to make change, while some, like the four little girls from the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, gave their lives as agents of change.

Just as young black children were segregated against 50 years ago, today the fight for equality has landed in the classroom.

Right now, there are hundreds of thousands of minority children across the country who are trapped in classrooms that do not work for them. Parents who are left with no choice but to send their child to the government designated school.

For many of these parents, the school of their choice exists down the street or a short bus ride away, but that choice is denied.

Because, today, public education in America means funding a school, not funding a child's education. It is about funding a system, not helping an individual child reach their full potential.

Together, we can change this. We can break down the barriers to educational choice, igniting a new revolution in American – an EdRevolution.

As we celebrate Black History Month, as we celebrate the triumphs, the tragedies, the stories and heroes, let us shine a light on the lives of children across this country who need our voice. Let us come together and fight for today’s civil rights fight – the right for every child to attend a quality school of their parents’ choice. The belief that public education means every child can use public dollars to attend a school of their parents’ choice.

That every child, whether they are white or black, Hispanic or Asian, rich or poor, can attend a quality school of their choice. 

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