1. March 2nd, 1955. A young black woman is arrested for refusing to give up her seat, on a bus, to a white man in Alabama. Civil rights leaders in the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) rush to her side and she will be a symbol of the struggle against segregation. Her name is Claudette Colvin and she is 15 years old. She’s also unmarried and pregnant. The civil rights leaders in the ACLU decide that Colvin is not the best foot forward and stand down. Eight months later, Rosa Parks happens. But during that eight months, a brilliant and charismatic young minister gets the attention of the community and is chosen to lead the bus boycotts. If Claudette Colvin doesn’t get pregnant, if they had gone in the spring and not eight months later, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is a preacher that you have never heard of in Montgomery. This is one, of many, important details. 2. Who is Giuseppe Zangara? I don’t really know. He is a guy with a gun who fired 5 shots on February 15th, 1933, killing the mayor of Chicago. Why? Because Zangara was standing on a wobbly chair. The Mayor of Chicago wasn’t his target, it was the guy that the mayor was shaking hands with. The newly elected President Franklin Roosevelt. If Zangara’s chair wasn’t wobbly, Roosevelt never takes office and we swear in his running mate. John Nance Garner. A man who’s political ideology was the basis for his opposition to a package of legislation, that would be called “The New Deal”. Also, we don’t survive the Great Depression. Do you get why these are important details? 3. Your kitchen faucet has washers. They keep water from leaking through the joints in the fixtures. That’s what O-Rings do. They’re giant washers that keep pressurized hydrogen from leaking out of the SRB. The Solid Rocket Booster that shoots the Space Shuttle out of the Earth’s atmosphere. These O-Rings have been tested and tested in every possible circumstance but one. Cold. They didn’t test to see if the O-Rings worked when it was cold. Why would they even think to test for that? The thing is launching from south Florida. When is going to be cold? On January 28th, 1986. A cold snap dragged the overnight temperature down to 18 degrees. It turns out that the O-Rings stop working below 40 degrees. SO, 73 seconds after the Space Shuttle “Challenger” lifts off, it converts itself into a bomb and detonates. Now you get why these are important details. No?
Sometimes it’s just the one thing. Sometimes it’s that one detail that could change the world. Sometimes it’s just the one thing that could make a young adult more curious.
Why is the text above important?
When I was in high school, 2001-2004, we learned about Rosa Parks, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. & President Franklin Roosevelt. We never learned about Claudette Colvin or Giuseppe Zangara. If we did, I probably would of had more interest in school. Not because I am interested in controversy. Far from it actually. I would of paid more attention to it because I think a little bit differently. I wrote this post a while back. The subject is “What could of been different in my life.” I think about this all the time. Had I taken a job at a mall, instead of a go-kart track, how would my life be different? So you could imagine the thoughts I would of had if I had been taught about Claudette Colvin or Giuseppe Zangara. Even the thing about the O-Rings is interesting to me.
Hate the game, not the player
I get that a teacher only has three or four months, to teach a class of 60 kids, all of the history between a specific time period. I’ll give you that. What I am saying is, there are more interesting facts out there that no one told me about. Had I learned about Claudette Colvin, I would of written that paper about Rosa Parks. I would of turned in my project on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. All I’m saying is that public & private schools leave out some important details. Important details that could of changed my views on life and this world.
Important details matter
- Have you ever gotten something wrong and wondered why?
- Has someone ever asked you to turn off the stove, but forgot to tell you that first, you have to jiggle the handle to the left or it wont turn off? Because if you turn it to the right, you’re going to explode.
Do you see how important details matter? I don’t care what the details are. I think if our school systems are going to teach us about “Famous Figures” in history, then need to teach us the whole story. I feel like, by not teaching us all of the important details, my entire child hood has been ruined. I pride myself on not being a follower. I pride myself on making my own decisions. However, it turns out that I am a follower and I do not make my own decisions.
Someone in power decided that they wanted me to learn about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. They wanted me to love him and respect him. Instead of teaching me that he was not the first, second or even the third pick of the ALCU. I feel like I was left out of the important details and I feel taken advantage of. For years, we’ve been celebrating a smart man, who was the leader of a movement that changed the world for ever. The only reason why we celebrate this man is because the original candidate was not married and just happened to be pregnant. A big “NO-NO” in those times.
There is a much greater conversation that we’re not having and it’s been happening for a long time. You know that people complain that the media leaves out facts about riots in Missouri, Virginia and Wisconsin. They have a point. Think I’m wrong? Start from the top and read again. Thanks for reading.