Critical race theory has been a political and cultural discussion that has impacted elections and caused heated debates on cable news. However, for Black parents, as noted by Michael Ealy, the debate over critical race theory impacts children, specifically Black children. The actor opened up about Black history and critical race theory in an interview with SiriusXM.
While promoting his new Netflix series The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window, which drops today, Ealy talked on The Clay Cane Show via SiriusXM Urban View about how he speaks with his children about race (Ealy’s children are young, but the notoriously private actor has not revealed their ages).
The 50-year-old said he’s made a “conscious effort” to shield his youngest child from the cultural wars that are happening in the country. As for his son, he explained the importance of him being taught Black history before slavery.
“There's slavery and the civil rights movement and that's kind of a core Black History Month. So, the unfortunate thing is, what we're setting up is a dynamic in which white kids are being taught that they are superior. Black kids are being taught that they are inferior and that's how it's been,” Ealy said.
“It's not until you really become educated, and you kind of understand and you read, and you know that our history starts in Africa, not here. So, these whole conversations about critical race theory and how people don't want critical race theory happening in schools – and I'm just like, wow, well, you know, it wasn't that great to begin with because we didn't start from the right place.”
He stressed the importance of teaching the history of Black people in ancient Africa in tandem with the history of Black people in the U.S., adding, “White kids are being taught they are superior. Black people start off being taught that they were oppressed.”
Michael Ealy revealed he is currently working with his son’s school to ensure they are teaching a multifaceted curriculum of Black history, not just slavery and the civil rights movement. He also said white children knowing the full history of Black people would be empowering for them as well.
Critical race theory is a legal theory by former Harvard Law professor Derrick Bell, who died in 2011. CRT is a graduate-level course that is not taught in K-12. It examines how race sometimes unfairly or even unintentionally intersects with U.S. institutions, according to The New York Times.
See the clip of Michael Ealy below: