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How Our Understanding Of Black History Shapes Policy

A Black History Day banner is on display at Animo Westside Charter Middle Sch...

Photo by Reed Saxon / Associated Press

Above: A Black History Day banner is on display at Animo Westside Charter Middle School during a summer session to introduce new students to the school they will attend in the fall, in the Playa Del Rey area of Los Angeles. July 13, 2018.

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Sara Kaplan, who is an associate professor of Ethnic Studies and Critical Gender Studies at the University of California, San Diego, and a founder of UCSD’s Black Studies Project joined ... Read more →

Aired: February 16, 2021 | Transcript

Photo credit: Courtesy of UC San Diego

Sara Kaplan, associate professor of Ethnic Studies and Critical Gender Studies at UC San Diego, is pictured in this undated photo.

As we celebrate Black History Month, it’s time to check in on how far this country has come in understanding its past and how well schools are teaching it.

In California, just a few years ago, there were efforts to create a more inclusive standard for history curriculum in schools. While lessons are more inclusive, implementation has been inconsistent.

RELATED: Can America Celebrate Black History Without Teaching It?

"One of the difficulties that we still have in California and across the country are the ways in which schools fully engage that curriculum, the ways in which it gets incorporated for different classrooms, in different places and really the extent to which the full picture, the more difficult parts, are truly incorporated," said Sara Kaplan, who is an associate professor of Ethnic Studies and Critical Gender Studies at the University of California, San Diego.

One of the more difficult parts of history is the Reconstruction, post Civil War, and its collapse. Professor Kaplan joined Midday Edition on Tuesday to explore the promise and tragedy of that time period and how our full understanding of that, shapes current policy.

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