I think black students are interested in black history, but our American experience is not a story of beauty and its not easy to discuss among other ethnic groups and really its kinda recent when you think in terms of the number of lives you are separated from slavery and the living that was raised in segregation and Jim Crow. Its not a pleasant subject for most.
I remember reading books written by slaves, slave narratives and it was not pleasant reading and some of the stories I read disturbed my sleep, pissed me off. I remember reading about how cruel British slave owners were and this one particular one on a Caribbean island. It was horrifying and eventually the slaves revolted but they took it for many decades. Its not easy reading that stuff and that is why I think many young people avoid reading about black history that involves slavery, how they were lorded over, treated like animals, done with however the slave owner wanted, how slaves were brainwashed over generations and accepted their lot and even how some slave owners were given credit for being more kind and humane, such as that asshole founding father Thomas Jefferson, its twisted.
This is one of the main problems with integrated public schools, white parents don't want their children to know what assholes their ancestors were and the debased general white population, they don't want their children to connect the dots that their racism is really a family tradition, passed down to them. If white people could snap their fingers they would have blacks disappear and would write out all the history books that slaver ever took place. They don't want to be reminded how disgusting their history is in connection to slavery and segregation.
I think every black community needs to teach black history as a supplement from what they do not get in public schools through cultural centers. I do think it needs to be taught in schools but white parents do not want their children to realize the depth of their depravity and unwarranted hatred perpetrated on blacks. They cant reconcile their Christianity and slavery and the cruel treatment of blacks for the great majority existence of The United States, exceptionalism my ass!
And I think many black students feel isolated from a historical standpoint, not feeling very apple pie at all, not feeling good about being an American.
I think when black kids see progress, see blacks overcoming our history within our own communities, see blacks sticking together, making it happen for ourselves, serving and benefiting ourselves on our terms, having and maintaining our own, having a culture that is indeed stronger and more successful because of our history, then our history becomes attractive because it was indeed used to spring us into a proud, stronger space. I think the failure to create and maintain our own with more self sustaining communities, changes the perspective on our history, did it make us stronger or trap us in the issues we have today?