CULTURAL STUDIES CLASS POSED FOR VACAVILLE HIGH SCHOOL
In an age where “Who do you think you are?” is a popular TV show and “Black Lives Matter” is a nationwide movement, a Vacaville High School student is posing a curriculum that delves into cultural identity.
Golden Pryor Jr., 16, said the idea was floated after he began digesting the increasing racial tensions presented by the mainstream media and following talks with his teen friends.teens
“I asked my friend if he knew who Nat Turner was and he didn’t,” Golden said. “I couldn’t believe it.” Turner was a slave who headed a rebellion back in 1800s Virginia.
History classes in school, Golden said, don’t go deep enough into cultural studies and often don’t tell the true, whole story of world cultures. Which shortchanges students in the long run, he said.
“It’s all about cultural identity,” he explained. “I want everyone to learn not only about their cultural history but (about) other people’s, too.”
So he approached Anna Eaton, executive director of the Vacaville Neighborhood Boys & Girls Club, where he interned during the summer, for her advice. She gave him the thumbs up along with some tips.
“When he sat down and shared his idea, it just blew me away,” she said.
Golden spoke to his principal, who liked the idea and continues to discuss curriculum possibilities with him.
He also put out a petition and got 100 students and teachers and staff to sign thus far. He hopes to reach 150 signatures.
“The more the better,” he said.
The goal is to pick a variety of cultures and go hard on them, learn as much as possible and answer whatever questions that may be lingering. He knows that there’s no way to touch on all of the world’s cultures in one class, he said, but that’s where related classes come in.
“It might not all fit in one curriculum, so you can have Cultural History 2, Cultural History 3,” he said. “And we’d make it an elective and not a core class.”
The class, he said, could start as early as next year.
“I told the principal, anything he needs. I will do anything,” Golden said.
Fellow student Jacqueline Holbert, 17, said she loved the idea of going deep into various cultures.
Jivan Hori, 16, a Will C. Wood student, agreed.
Culture is an important topic, he said.
The class means a lot to many people, Golden continued, and deserves a real chance.
“You need to know your past to reflect on the future,” he said. “History plays a part in modern civilization. Understanding our world better is knowing our history.”
Youth, especially, need the education, he added, as many don’t know themselves so they don’t know their place in the world.
“Know yourself, know your world,” Golden said.
By Kimberly K. Fu, email@example.com, @ReporterKimFu on Twitter