I am writing to you about Raphael Rogers’ column titled, “This is what I tell teachers about how to teach slavery to young students” as published in the June 16 edition of L’Express.
Professor Rogers made four valid points in teaching students about slavery:
1. Explore the actual recordings.
2. Examine historical documents (different perspectives).
3. Highlight lived experiences.
4. Consider relevance.
In my opinion, Raphael Rogers needs to add a number 5. Number five would be to examine the population of our country during this period of history that opposed slavery. This includes the thousands of soldiers from the North who left their homes and families (many never to return) to oppose slavery and were ready to go to war to fight for freedom. In addition, the southerners who were not slave owners and opposed slavery. In addition, people involved (at risk) in the underground railroad with the aim of helping and saving slaves able to flee from the slave owners.
Professor Rogers does not mention, and apparently does not teach his students, this important aspect of history.
This may be part of the problem, the “one side only” concept.
Whites of different cultures opposed and died opposing slavery. Their team must be validated and taught alongside their four points.