Why I Teach About Race and Ethnicity in the Classical World

Citing the backlash received by Sarah Bond following the publication of the article about “the multicolored paint on ancient marble sculpture, and how its erasure has connections to white supremacy,”  Rebecca Futo Kennedy explains why she teaches about “race and ethnicity in the Classical world. . . . I want more students to see that the Classical world is not owned by one group of people and embrace it as interesting and useful. A narrative of a monoethnic and monochromatic Classical world is demonstrably false and, frankly, boring.” To read Kennedy’s complete article, click here.  Sarah Bond’s article in Hyperallergic can be read by clicking here.

A related article by African American Latin teacher, John Bracey, “Why Students of Color Don’t Take Latin,” can be accessed by clicking here.  Besides noting that “[s]tudents of color who have at least one teacher of their own ethnicity are more likely to graduate from high school and attend college,” he adds, ” Almost every Latin course involves learning about Hannibal, Dido, Carthage and Egypt, yet how many of us use textbooks or images that depict all of these people as white? We can start simply by acknowledging the people of color who have been right in front of us this whole time.

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