Bringing American Histories to Life
There’s also deepening of events and people that we already know. Documentaries like Slavery by Another Name, The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, I Am Not Your Negro, A Ballerina’s Tale, LA 92, Whose Streets, The Life and Death of Marsha P Johnson, What Happened, Miss Simone?, Baltimore Rising, The Rape of Recy Taylor, Freedom Summer, Who Really Killed Sam Cooke?
The history of Black folks is not the only victims of unsung and distorted truths in this country. There’s the histories of Native Americans, Chicanos, Asians, LGBTQAI, women and others who also are pushing to correct and project their respective narratives.
With the recent racist and sexist attacks on the Atlanta spas, the nation is getting glimpses of how Asian Pacific Islanders have been discriminated against, stereotyped, marginalized and looked on as foreigners regardless of their U.S. birthright. Some people are just finding out that Japanese families were forced to leave their homes and businesses to be placed in concentrations camps during World War II as a matter of so-called national security. Sadly, six Asian women being murdered by a white dude having a bad day has opened up the opportunity for Asian Americans to share their painful, but subdued existence in America.
The big book of American history is many stories of many peoples over many years. Right now, those stories are still separate and excluded from this country’s history written and told from the lens of white historians and policy makers.
We need to make time to learn about the “other” because when that happens, we’ll find out the majority of us have been cast as the other. Fear of the other has kept us in our silos and not embracing the fact that our histories are more similar than different. Black history is American history.