First of all, let me say that I believe ALL people should hold onto their cultural background, language, and customs. NOBODY should give up their heritage. Even though I do not speak another language fluently, I have always believed children growing up in bilingual homes should maintain the knowledge of, and use of, the family's native language. Kids should feel proud of who they are and what their background is. However, there is also the need as Americans to be able to communicate and "fit in" to our U.S. society. We are all different, but must at times be the same. I think Philadelphia schools (June 9, 2005) mandating African-American studies is wrong. Despite what is said, I cannot help but believe this is being done only to be politically correct. What about Asia-American studies, Hispanic-American, or Middle Eastern studies, or any other culture growing up in the U.S.
African-American studies, like any other cultural group, should be included in American history and how that particular group has impacted on the American society. I agree that different cultural studies should be made available as electives. And, depending on what part of the country one lives, different cultural studies may be made available. But to single out African-American as a MANDATORY course of study is not appropriate.