Civil What?

Our high schools just aren’t pulling their weight when it comes to teaching about the Civil War and the role of slavery in shaping American society. A report released by the Southern Poverty Law Center on February 1st found that only 8 percent of high school seniors can identify slavery as the central cause of the Civil War. Not only that, but two-thirds of high school seniors were unaware that it took a constitutional amendment to formally end slavery, …

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Mythbusters: Christopher Columbus

“History is written by the victors,” Winston Churchill said. Another way to understand this power to define reality is through the construction of master narratives. A master narrative is majority-constructed script that specifies and controls how social processes are contextualized. An example of a master narrative that is perpetuated by our education system is one about the “discovery” of America by Christopher Columbus. When the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria landed on Plymouth Rock in 1492, America …

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Two Sides to Every Story, I Wish I Knew Yours

Everyday we are surrounded and presented with racial tensions, whether we notice them or not. Black oppression dates back to the 1800’s, yet it is still more prevalent in 2018 than ever before. After reading a portion of Michelle Alexander’s book, The New Jim Crow, I have become more familiar with how history intersects with our present day racial divisions. Evidently, the life experiences of blacks and whites are very different, as well as the stereotypes that surround each …

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The Blurred Line Between Old-Fashioned and Modern Racism

When we were first learning about the differences between old-fashioned, modern, and aversive racism, the definitions made sense to me. I saw that there were differences between the three, each different speeds at which we move down the moving sidewalk of privilege. But now I’m a little less certain about the differences between old-fashioned and modern racism. I agree that in practice they’re different, but I’m less sure that within the person harboring these prejudices, the sentiments are different. …

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Trump-isms: What’s Next?

I write this on November 2nd, less than a week before the presidential election. I choose to write this now for multiple reasons: 1) it’s becoming pretty clear who the next POTUS will be, and 2) I’m honestly afraid of what the consequences will be. This evening in my Facebook Newsfeed, towards the bottom of the trending bar, was the label “Black Church Burned” (The Atlantic, 2016). Immediately I felt my stomach sink, and when I clicked on the …

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Digging deeper: Finding the counter narrative

This past Summer I had the chance to travel around Peru and visit a variety of different historical sites. One of the places I visited was a beautiful estate on the southern cost, Hacienda San José. The property was nothing less than stunning, a grand entrance, a courtyard, a wraparound porch, a swimming pool, an impeccable lawn, and even a beautiful chapel. My guide told us many people rent out the estate for weddings or come for a weekend …

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Listen to Tupac. Really listen to Tupac.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 marked the 20th anniversary of the death of Tupac Shakur. Tupac was a prominent hip-hop artist in the early 1990s well known for his deep, progressive lyrics in popular songs such as “Changes” and “Keep Ya Head Up.” However, he was more than just a rapper – he was a poet, a philosopher, and an activist. From a young age, he expressed incredible insight on contentious topics such as education, poverty, feminism, and police brutality. …

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