Education professor Jonathan Zimmerman contends that we shortchange children if we let the protection of their fragile psyches keep them from learning about the frailties of their heroes. Zimmerman says the language in the Brown vs. Board of Education decision, which emphasized the ways segregation fostered a negative self-image among black students, played a major factor in the development of textbooks that don't promote an honest exploration of prominent historical figures such as Martin Luther King, Jr.

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