RL Day #40: QHSLS Unites Against Racism

Message from Assistant Principal Mr. Bligh:

Today is our day of unity against racism! Our teachers worked incredibly hard to put five lessons together for our students. We recommend completing today’s lessons in the following order:

  1. Understanding Implicit Bias
  2. From Emmett Till to Amy Cooper 
  3. Identifying Logical Fallacies
  4. Protesting for Change
  5. Anti-racist Action

Use these lessons as a starting point for deeper learning, self-reflection, and increased conversation. And, we encourage you to share your reflections in the open circles on Tuesday and Wednesday at 3PM and 6PM.

I want to share with you an “a-ha” moment I had two years ago. One of my favorite podcasts, American History Tellers, told the story of the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921. In the early 20th century, Tulsa, Oklahoma was home to one of the most prosperous black communities in the entire country. On May 31, 1921, false accusations made by a white woman against a young, black man led white Tulsans to viciously attack black Tulsans. As a result, as many as 300 black Tulsans were murdered and more than 1,400 black-owned businesses and homes were destroyed. 

Learning about this, I was sickened and horrified by the brutal violence committed against black Tulsans and the complete lack of justice. However, there was something else that haunted me. Despite studying American history for decades, why was I hearing about this historic event only now? 

Learning about this one event ignited a fire. The more I read and researched, the more I wanted to teach my students and educate my family and friends about these untold stories.  I realized that in teaching this silenced history, I was taking an anti-racist stance. 

This is all to say that my hope for you is that today’s lessons will ignite a similar fire. I encourage you to find at least one topic that interests you and begin learning more about it. The lessons today are not an isolated gesture to respond to the murder of George Floyd and the subsequent protests. Rather, today is a first step in empowering us all in taking our own anti-racist stances. 

Best, Mr. Bligh