Albany activist stresses importance of Black history in classrooms

Video from WALB
Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 4:19 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) -While Juneteenth celebrations are kicking off throughout South Georgia, one Albany activist is more focused on promoting Black history in classrooms across the nation.

Dr. James Pratt Jr., Albany State University professor, said teaching the progress and harm done to African Americans in school is key for more progress in the community.

“Understanding Black history, understanding the roots of this country and the foundations of this country is essential for how we deal with harm, how we deal with violence, and how we fundamentally understand justice,” he said. “Because if we understand justice for the people that have suffered the most in this country and we educate people about how we ensure justice, then we create a better safer, and more whole society.”

Pratt said he encourages everyone to get invested in Black history.
Pratt said he encourages everyone to get invested in Black history.(WALB)

Pratt said this year, he will use Juneteenth as a way to encourage others to get more invested in their history.

Progress is one of the many things being celebrated in the Black community this Juneteenth. Pratt said with progress comes reflection on the past.

“Education is a key part of that and educating in particular about the progress of our people but more importantly about the harm done to our people so that we can ensure reparations is what Juneteenth is about for me,” he said. “A lot of people like to sweep things under the rug and so the fundamental part of education is eliciting deeper understandings of harm, of justice, of what the progress should and can be. Part of that means looking back in order to look forward.”

Looking past Juneteenth, Pratt said he has more plans in his activism work coming up that will speak to the message Juneteenth commemorates every year.

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