Since completing reading for my Ethnicity and American Communities class, I have been thinking a lot about a plethora of things. Hopefully I can get my jumbled thoughts across in this post. Here we go!
When Native land was stolen, there were both Native and white folks who were against it. Their voices were silenced by death. This put fear in people around them and they began to lose hope that just saying they don't want to give up their land would change anything. After all, Martin Van Buren, his predecessors and successors felt it was their manifest destiny to take the land we now call the United States. I've been unlearning so much history that I have been taught. And relearning some things that I have forgotten in these last four weeks.
There is so much history that is not given to us. It scares me. It scares me that some folks are getting more truth than others. During my first discussion section for the class mentioned above, a student mentioned how he read Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States (the book we are currently reading) in high school. He also pointed out that is was assigned in an AP History course. My high school, located in a predominately Latino and Black neighborhood barely started offering AP courses my senior year. I am unsure of the exact location of the other student's high school but because I know that he did not attend the school in his district, it was probably in a better neighborhood than mine. There is a disparity here. As a third year college student, I have been exposed to the history of my race, as well as the history of other underrepresented groups. Unfortunately though, this did not start until I stepped foot on campus as a college freshman. Of course there was that moment in grade school when students were taught about black history because it was February but it is not okay that it stops there. What is disheartening about this is that, many of the underrepresented groups of this country helped build it so Black, Asian, Latino and the history of other disenfranchised groups is American history. Why it is not always included bothers me. It also scares me that if I want to change it, I will probably be shot down a million and one times.
A while back, someone I follow on twitter posed a question that was something along the lines of, "What would happen if parents who knew real history taught their children that instead of just letting them learn the bullshit they teach in schools?"
My short answer to the question is that things would be different. I plan on being on of those parents. My husband and I will educate our little tribe about our history as Black people in relation to people of other races and ethnicities. We will teach them about heteronormativity, ablism, classism and the other isms. We will also talk to them about how there is still hope and love conquers hate.
It cannot just be us though. This has to be a movement. Something has got to change, systematically. I'm learning that even in my little town of Davis, it is difficult to keep on fighting for something when everything around you screams, "NO!" to your dreams of living in a world that is not just tolerant of difference, but actually respects difference and realizes that we are much more the same than different anyway.
I am hopeful that one day, we will live in that type of society. It will take a load of patience and determination, which for me is difficult to keep without being burnt out. So with that... my question is...
And here are some of the responses I have gotten. I want to know what you do to keep on going because I'm struggling here, son!