For some parts of history people say, “We will not forget;” for other parts they say, “We will not remember.” I’m a part of humanity. All human history is my history. Like every piece of a jigsaw puzzle, every person is an important part of the human race.
If you make no room in your life for historical investigation, you’ll be stuck in the view of history you were taught in school. People who repeat ineffective or unjust attitudes (or actions) from the past, haven’t learned the lessons of history.
History’s not as simple as it is usually presented. Historical accuracy that doesn’t ignore the fuller story of history, matters.
Too often history is a feel good narrative of the past, rather than a search for what actually happened. The courage to learn from uncomfortable history will broaden your perspective on the present. To better understand the mystery of the future, seek a broad understanding of the past.
Be your own historian. Don’t simply accept one perspective on the past. Dig in and discover things you don’t know.
Censoring and erasing the history of racial injustice leaves us with an incomplete view of the past. It good to read history books that examine more than you already know (or think you know). Learning how injustice in history could have been avoided, can show us how to avoid injustice in the future.
Depending on our focus, history can either illuminate the present with light or burn it down with hate. The cycle of painful history repeating itself reveals that people don’t really learn much from history.
People who’ve had to swim against a stream of injustice know its strength. Those who haven’t, often think injustice doesn’t exist. A broad reading of history offers us a present of centuries of experience, understanding, and guidance to make life better today.
To select only the history that makes us proud is deceptive. To include the parts that humble us brings us closer to truth. Freedom of speech includes the right to talk about unpleasant events that history classes have ignored.
Our story of the past will always be incomplete. We always need a fuller story. If we search for hidden or ignored history, it can serve as an early warning system for the future.
The injustice committed by a country is frequently omitted from its history books. To avoid knowing painful parts of history is denial.
Selective history that ignores the parts we don’t like, is a form of deception and dishonesty. Black History tries to correct that. If we’re unaware of where America started racially, then we won’t know how far we’ve come.
“Color-blind” people don’t notice that the details of the living conditions of black people have been left out of American history. Often when people use the term “color blind,” they’re unaware that they’re “injustice blind.”
When blacks in America first began to convert to Christianity, most white churches refused to accept them as equal brothers in Christ.
If schools teach black people about Woodrow Wilson, they should also teach white people about William Monroe Trotter. Here’s a quote from James Baldwin: “American history is longer, larger, more various, more beautiful, and more terrible than anything anyone has ever said about it.”
For some fresh insights into history and race, click here.