Why All-Inclusive History?
Why all-inclusive history? This is a question I get A LOT! So much so that I can honestly say that the more I hear it, the more I don’t understand. You see many people believe that as a Black historian, that my focus should be on Black History. They feel that I am either unqualified to focus on American History as a whole, or that I need to completely and totally concentrate on the history of my race in this Country. This bothers me a great deal.
Here’s why. I am a Black, female born and raised in South Carolina, the eighth State of the United States of America. This one sentence alone qualifies me to talk about any and all history in this Nation. American history is as complex as its people and if truth be told, no history here in America could have happened without all races being involved. It’s just a fact.
For me, focusing on one component of history doesn’t make a whole lot of sense because I need context. It is easy to take any period of time and expound on it if your goal is to highlight and/or teach something specific (kind of like the one scripture the Sunday sermon is preached around), but in my mind on the grand scale of things, it is very hard to teach anything without showing how or where it fits in the complete puzzle. It’s like this: I can’t talk about Ona Judge without talking about George Washington, I can’t talk about Benjamin Banneker without talking about Thomas Jefferson, I can’t talk about Native American removal without talking about Andrew Jackson and I can’t talk about emancipation and Reconstruction without talking about Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson (not that I want to talk about him.) It is intertwined. We are intertwined.
Most of us have spent our formative years being taught what I like to call the mythology of American History. Starting with elementary school we were told how George Washington chopped down the cherry tree and the idea of “Honest Abe”, the brilliance of Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin and America’s Christian roots. And as children, most of us believed. Growing up, American History pretty much taught the highlights, (the American Revolution, formation of government, the Civil War, a half of page on slavery and Reconstruction, the World Wars, various Presidents, especially the assassinated ones, Vietnam and the Carter administration), that was where my history book ended since I was alive during Reaganomics, the latter part of the Cold War, and the occupation of Afghanistan. It’s a highlight reel. One that puts the United States in the most brilliant light. That is why American education glosses over chattel slavery, Native American removal, Chinese immigration, Japanese internment camps and the forever popular patrolling of the borders. But we won’t do this on this site.
Here, it will all-inclusive, ALL THE TIME! Because it has to be. I will do my best to be fair and balanced with what I put on this page, but that doesn’t mean that I will be false and accommodating. I will not. Because at the end of the day the truth is the truth, and a lie is a lie and this page is all about completely verifiable American History TRUTHS!
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