For Black History Month, elementary school students at P.S. 201 in Flushing, N.Y., were tasked with writing about any prominent historical figure but when a few decided upon slain civil rights leader Malcolm X (pictured), some teachers at the school put the brakes on their selection, reportedly referring to the controversial activist as “bad” and violent,” reports the New York Daily News.

A few parents of the grade schoolers were angered by the educator’s anti-Malcolm X stance and could not fathom why they painted the iconic leader as such a malevolent demagogue to the children. Parent Angel Minor said her 9-year-old son told her: “Mom, we were doing black history projects and I was told we can’t do Malcolm X because he was violent.”

And Minor made sure that her son didn’t buy in to that message, “[My mom said,] ‘I want him to know and understand.’ My mom took a stand because something was X’d out, and my mom made a difference. She said, ‘I want him to know that Black history really means something. To be Black means a lot.’”

The parents not only took their complaints to the school principal but to the district as well.  Council member Rory Lancman, whose Queens district encompasses the Flushing school, also got wind of the controversy surrounding the Black History project. “Certain historical figures might be complicated, might be a challenge to learn about, but kids need to learn about them,” Lancman told NBC New York.

Lancman and other community leaders met with parents and school officials at the district to discuss the incendiary matter.  The councilman told NBC New York, “The school took them seriously,” he said. “There’s a plan for going forward. The school acknowledged there was a mistake to leave the kids with the impression that Malcolm X is somehow an [in]appropriate subject to study.”

Meanwhile, the Department of Education said in a statement, “Malcolm X is a historical figure and a hero to many New Yorkers that we believe should be celebrated in our schools.”

Watch news coverage of P.S. 201′s no-Malcolm X assignments. 

The grade school, which has a 43 percent Black student population, was at the center of controversy in 2012 when a kindergarten teacher gave her students a worksheet with a picture of a gun and a robber on it for a spelling lesson.


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14 thoughts on “Students Banned From Covering Malcolm X For Black History Month

  1. I went to P.S. 321 in the eighties (Brooklyn). After they taught about Malcom X, teachers and parents nurtured hatred against me. Malcom X thought his own ways were too violent, even violent video games come with a warning because people do what they see others do.Parents should have enough respect for their children and Malcom X to keep his message from making them racist and violent.

    • Come on Jiggy5, that’s so white of you. The Tea Party calls our President that one because it evokes images of piles and piles of dead and starving white people so you will think about that. Read “The People’s History of the United States” by Zinn because what we are taught about history is untrue.

  2. RyanJWatts on said:

    my roomate’s step-aunt makes $70 hourly on the internet . She has been out of work for 10 months but last month her check was $13903 just working on the internet for a few hours. more info here

  3. americanize. on said:

    Another example of how racism is embedded through out this country.Our only option is to start doing for ourselves.Teach our own children,an so on theirs lots of work to be done in black America but the first thing we must do is unite,we black folk or so divided.Until then the band will play on.GOD BLESS BLACK AMERICA.

  4. Sorry but I’m allowed to learn about Henry vii and how he beheaded he’s wives before the age of 7, I can learn about how horrific the holocaust, people getting gassed etc was when I was young (studying war terrified me btw…memories are still clear) yet it’s a ‘crime’ to learn about Malcolm X where he was willing to bring justice to he’s race ‘by any means necessary’ at a time they were victims of extreme discrimination.

    Also I find with other history ‘stories’ teachers are happy to put cotton candy about the most horrifying things, but when it’s time to support a man who made a difference to black society, he must have the ‘monster’ tag on him. Hmmmm.

    Anyway I just think it’s another way to prevent people knowing about black history, what I find sad is the fact I had to finish school first and learn about where my people came from myself, simply because school don’t want to touch on the subject.

  5. Stephanie on said:

    But it ok to write about, celebrate, even have schools name after the kkk. The depth of hatred is so deep in Americ, that teacher needs to be schooled about black history.

    • Ivan Cohen on said:

      Then you don’t want your 5 yr. old learning about the American Revolution, George Washington did not exactly win his battles with a sit-in.

      • I said it. on said:

        Malcolm X was a real man, with real feelings and courage to speak unwavingly on behalf of righteousness and equality. He respected his wife, family, and people. I hope you walking around in your drawers hitting a bong is not a picture, or image your “sheltered” son sees on a daily basis. Be about something. The real story of Malcolm X can be read in his autobiography. More people should read it before they post statements in their undies against the man.

    • Oh please Green Gun. Would you teach your little girl to protect herself from assault “by any means necessary”? You live in a white bubble (whether or not you are white). I bet you think the Bronco’s lost because the Seahawk’s cheated.

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