Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Minorities seek history class changes

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Latest Breaking News Donate to DU
 
deadparrot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 06:16 PM
Original message
Minorities seek history class changes
American students often get the impression from history classes that the British got here first, settling Jamestown, Va., in 1607. They hear about how white Northerners freed the black slaves, how Asians came in the mid-1800s to build Western railroads. The lessons have left out a lot.

Forty-two years before Jamestown, Spaniards and American Indians lived in St. Augustine, Fla. At least several thousand Latinos and nearly 200,000 black soldiers fought in the Civil War. And Asian-Americans had been living in California and Louisiana since the 1700s.

Now, more of these and other lesser-known facts about American minorities are getting more attention. The main reason is the nation's growing diversity.

More than one in four Americans is not white, and many minority groups are gaining strength in numbers, political clout and resources to bring their often-overlooked histories to light.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060820/ap_on_re_us/forgott...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
agentkgb Donating Member (37 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 06:31 PM
Response to Original message
1. Americanization
US history like to change a lot of stuff. I just heard that Paul Revere's dad was French, his name was actually Paul Rivoire, and they americanized it. And very few textbooks mention that Thomas Jefferson owned slaves. The underfunded schools with the most minority students though won't be using today's textbooks until twenty years from now, though.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Kickoutthejams23 Donating Member (354 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 06:49 PM
Response to Original message
2. Don't forget King George freed the slaves.
And as a result lost support in a major slave-holding area we like to call New York. Slaves were instrumental in building early Manhattan. Too bad kids have to wait to be adults to learn this. (In the interest of ironic balance the very heavy African involvement in the slave trade is also whitewashed from secondary school history books.)Historical facts are often inconvenient things. I say lay out the facts and let the kids decide.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
PurityOfEssence Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 06:59 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Jefferson and Hamilton destroyed Aaron Burr partly over his abolitionism
Burr is the most wronged man in American history, although Tilden and Gore certainly have a claim to that title. His wits and talent allowed him to live long and prosper, but even though he was acquitted of treason, he was forever tarred in the public forum.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Akim Donating Member (352 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 07:02 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Hamilton challenged him to a duel. Burr would have been a coward to refuse
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 08:09 PM
Response to Reply #4
23. Actually, Burr challenged Hamilton:

.. In February, 1804, a New York Republican, Dr. Charles D. Cooper, attended a dinner party at which Alexander Hamilton spoke forcefully and eloquently against Burr. Cooper later wrote a letter to Philip Schuyler in which he made reference to a particularly "despicable opinion" Hamilton expressed about Burr. The letter was published in a New York newspaper the "Albany Register."

Hoping that a victory on the dueling ground could revive his flagging political career, Burr challenged Hamilton to a duel. Hamilton wanted to avoid the duel, but politics left him no choice. If he admitted to Burr's charge, which was substantially true, he would lose his honor. If he refused to duel, the result would be the same. Either way, his political career would be over .. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/duel/peopleevents/pande17....

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 11:36 AM
Response to Reply #2
14. I was wondering about this...
When did England abolish slavery? It occurred to me that maybe at least some of the Founding Fathers were behaving more like Confederates than the freedom-loving patriots the history books would have us believe.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Bacchus39 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #14
16. England was the reason there was slavery in the US in the first place
and yes, they did effectively put a halt to the transatlantic slave trade by naval action. nevertheless, Britain was one of the main instigators of slavery in the first place.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. Sure...
but they also abolished slavery before we did.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Bacchus39 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 11:48 AM
Response to Reply #17
18. yep, and Brazil and Cuba afterwards
n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 08:35 PM
Response to Reply #16
24. No. Portuguese and Spanish slave trade to the Americas predates ...
... any significant English activity in the hemisphere. Moreover, Columbus began enslaving Caribbean natives almost immediately, and the practice was widespread not only in the Spanish and Portuguese colonies in South America but also in Spanish North America; the Spanish crown banned that practice around 1600.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
brentspeak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 07:17 PM
Response to Original message
5. This is kind of a non-issue
I learned about black abolitionists in elementary school, native American history in elementary school, and black Civil War soldiers in Jr.High. A lot of this stuff has already been taught in schools for at least 25 years. (Also, should Spaniards be considered a "minority group"?)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Freedom_from_Chains Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 09:04 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. A lot of it is proportional to how much history you want to learn.
Which unfortunately in America has never been real strong, at least that is what the history books say. ;-)

But you are correct, I was aware of the Spaniards in Florida when I was 10, and that has been 40 years ago. As a side note, one can still trace the spanish land grants back, in the Pinellas Co., Clearwater, courthouse. So in short, the information is out there, it's more a matter of how strong one's desire is to know their country's history is.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
agentkgb Donating Member (37 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 06:26 AM
Response to Reply #5
10. It Is Kind of an Issue
Students are taught that everything whites do is good, everything everyone else does is bad. They don't learn to question the government and they learn that white people running the government in its entirety is normal and that it's always worked fine, which it hasn't.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 08:49 PM
Response to Original message
6. I always heard that people from Asia crossed the Bering land bridge...
and thus the Americas were populated. Then around 1000AD, Vikings sailed to the coast of Newfoundland.

And I recall recently (in the last couple of years) reaing about a prehistoric skeleton that was found in the Pacific Northwest, which was strikingly caucasian in appearance. I'm not sure what, if anything, scientists ultimately determined.

I wonder when we'll get over our differences in physical appearance and see the human being in all of us...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 09:11 PM
Response to Original message
8. I call it the "Cabbage Patch" view of history. How did Asians get to CA
1700? Guess I'm in need of some history lessons myself.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
bluestateguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 04:37 AM
Response to Original message
9. How do predominantly white southern schools teach about the Civil War?
I know that when I was in school in California, we were unambiguously taught that the North were the good guys and the South were the bad guys.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 07:00 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 08:52 AM
Response to Reply #9
12. That's why we're still fighting the Civil War.
Even now, we prefer to view one side (typically our own) as good and the other (theirs) as evil.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Kickoutthejams23 Donating Member (354 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:35 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. Most southern public schools are integrated
Unlike many of their northern cousins. (I like many here went to a basically all white public high school up north. People from the south are shocked that public schools can be all white or all black) Southern schools teach from the same bulls**T history textbooks as up north they just don't have the same resources so the kids tend to be a grade or two behind their northern cousins.

(Note the above statement has many generalities.)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 11:37 AM
Response to Reply #12
15. I haven't got a problem with that.
The Civil War was one of those rare wars where there was a good side and an evil side.

The motives of the troops themselves differ, naturally.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 03:51 PM
Response to Reply #15
21. But that isn't what is taught...
What is taught is that the people from the South were bad and the people from the North were good. Individual motives do not enter the picture, except when someone attempts to argue that "states' rights" were an issue. There are even people who consider the mere suggestion to be evidence of denial that slavery was wrong.

I can't even completely concur that one set of ideals was good while the other was evil. The existence of strong state governments was part of the reason we were able to win independence from England with the support of other colonies. There are advantages and disadvantages to a strong federal government.

Certainly slavery was evil...an evil wrought from ignorance. Sadly, we were at war with each other for 2 years before there was official recognition of that fact. And when the Emancipation Proclamation was enacted, it fanned the flames for rioting in New York City...not exactly a Southern town. People opposed to and supportive of (or ambivalent toward) slavery fought on both sides of the war. And while the Emancipation Proclamation was a good start; it didn't even come close to nipping racism in the bud. But we're getting there...I hope.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
damntexdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 02:31 PM
Response to Original message
19. When settlers were settling in Jamestown, ...
there was already a university in Mexico.

Centuries before the Articles of Confederation, northeast Indian tribes had their own sophisticated confederation.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Retrograde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 03:49 PM
Response to Original message
20. It's been traditionally Anglo-centric and by extension East Coast-centric
When I was taught American history, it was all about the English colonists settling the Eastern seaboard and then heading westwards. The French and Spanish got mentioned as the US acquired their territory, but otherwise it was as if there was this gigantic blank spot on the map where absolutely nothing was happening.

There were all sorts of people in the West, doing all sorts of people things. A lot of what I've learned about Western history came from almost literally stumbling over it: there's a plaque in San Jose, CA, for example that lists the founders of the first European settlement in California and their origins- one of them was an Apache from Tubac, AZ. Imagine the story behind that one little statement: why did he decide to join De Anza's expedition? How was he treated by the rest of the settlers? Or by the local Native Americans?

I don't know anything about Asians living in California in the 1700s: that would be interesting, especially in light of how the Chinese immigrants were treated here in the latter 1800s. And that's one of the problems with teaching about historic diversity: it's often not very pretty. But like it or not, it is part of our heritage and shouldn't be ignored.

Another part of history I'd like to know more about is pre-Columbian America. For example, why did a bunch of people along the Mississippi river decide to pile up huge mounds of earth? (And if the situation were reversed, would they be asking why people in Europe piled up large quantities of stone to make cathedrals?) Who was where when - just like the various tribes in Europe and Asia Native Americans did move about, probably for the same reasons. So much has been lost, so much we don't know.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 07:47 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. "so much has been lost, so much we don't know"
captures it very well. Unwittingly, we do tend to form our notions of history more from pictures, photographs, stories and films than any history book. A lot of history just goes down the memory hole. How many can fathom the number of blacks who fought in both the Revolutionary War and the Civil War given that they don't appear in a any illustrations except if the Massachusetts 54th is mentioned? How many are aware of the smallpox plagues that depopulated North America ahead of the western migration? Who has any real feel for the history of the labor movement and suppression of the civil rights of those who wanted to rock the boat? What's even worse are all the things that people know to be facts that just aren't true.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Thu Apr 17th 2014, 05:40 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Latest Breaking News Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC