Teaching America's Truth

WJC

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Teaching America’s truth
For generations, children have been spared the whole, terrible reality about slavery’s place in U.S. history, but some schools are beginning to strip away the deception and evasions
by Joe Heim Washington Post, August 28, 2019

It was a reeducation campaign that made lies of truth. In fact, states that seceded from the Union made clear that they fought to hold their slaves. Soon after his election as president of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis said: “We recognized the Negro as God and God’s Book and God’s laws, in nature, tell us to recognize him. Our inferior, fitted expressly for servitude … You cannot transform the Negro into anything one-tenth as useful or as good as what slavery enables them to be.”​

https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2019/08/28/teaching-slavery-schools/?wpisrc=nl_most&wpmm=1
Your thoughts?
 

Andersonh1

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I think rather than simply learning about slavery in school, as I did, we now wallow in the racism and misery of it, to the point that any healing that's happened over the past century and a half is being threatened as the scab on this old wound is picked at again and again. I think it should be possible to dispassionately learn about this aspect of our nation's past, but objectivity seems to be the last thing on anyone's mind when it comes to this topic.

The idea that we've ignored slavery is absurd. Quite the contrary, we're never allowed to forget it happened.
 

uaskme

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I think our Countries Racism, should be Told. Truth about the Indians. Truth about the Yankee Slave Trade. Truth about the EP including Deportation. Lincoln’s Deportation Plans are never discussed. Grant taking money from Jay Cooke while using the U. S. Military to fight Sitting Bull, never hear of it. Abuse of the Chinese by the Republicans.

It would be a long History Class. Truth is, all Nations lie about their Past.
 

Nathanb1

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I guess I was different. I taught it much like the article says...my kids all saw the dirty side as well as the good. What use is an education in history if you don't use it. I'm still proud of my lesson plans. I just turned down an offer to teach half-time because I don't have the patience to deal with some idiot principal or parent who doesn't think their kids should be exposed to the truth.
 
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I guess I was different. I taught it much like the article says...my kids all saw the dirty side as well as the good. What use is an education in history if you don't use it. I'm still proud of my lesson plans. I just turned down an offer to teach half-time because I don't have the patience to deal with some idiot principal or parent who doesn't think their kids should be exposed to the truth.

As well they should teach Lincoln said he had no intention of interfering with slavery where it existed. That the Union went to war to end slavery is probally the biggest myth, as at the time they were stressing the opposite, so couldn't have been motivation for all those enlisting, when they were stressing its preservation..........
 
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unionblue

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I think the article is where we all should be heading in teaching our nation's history, good and bad, to our kids and grandkids.

I agree with @uaskme , that should be ALL of it, the history of Indians, Northern involvement in slavery, Lincoln's actions concerning slavery before and during the Civil War, to include the idea of sending slaves back to Africa.

The big problem I see are those folks who feel expanded teaching of slavery is somehow a waste of time or that we are plowing up old wounds. We're not, we're just beginning to see an expanded picture, a somewhat clearer view of those times and the effects upon our nation, then and now.

It can only help us to get a better understanding of our past and our present, with the idea of a better future for everyone in our country.
 

Yankee Brooke

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Sadly every nation does this. I'm sure Canadian and Australian classes aren't learning about what they did to their countries' natives either... I'm sure British schools teach the Revolution in a way that makes them look good while making us look not so good, even if it's omitting details or stretching the truth a little. This isn't solely an American thing.
 
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I think our Countries Racism, should be Told. Truth about the Indians. Truth about the Yankee Slave Trade. Truth about the EP including Deportation. Lincoln’s Deportation Plans are never discussed. Grant taking money from Jay Cooke while using the U. S. Military to fight Sitting Bull, never hear of it. Abuse of the Chinese by the Republicans.

It would be a long History Class. Truth is, all Nations lie about their Past.

A prestigious book award for children's literature USED to be named after Laura Ingalls Wilder, the author of "Little House on the Prairie" and the other "Little House" books.

In 2018, the Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association, decided to rename the award because it determined that Wilder's books included racist references to Native Americans and African Americans.

There was a "discussion" about this on the message board for a national group for writers that I joined. The "discussion" about this decision grew quite heated. This "discussion" was so heated that the group actually temporary shut down their message board and then moved it to a different platform.
 

WJC

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I think our Countries Racism, should be Told. Truth about the Indians. Truth about the Yankee Slave Trade. Truth about the EP including Deportation. Lincoln’s Deportation Plans are never discussed. Grant taking money from Jay Cooke while using the U. S. Military to fight Sitting Bull, never hear of it. Abuse of the Chinese by the Republicans.
Let's try to stay focused on the article and the points it emphasizes. We can discuss Grant, Sitting Bull and the Chinese immigrants in another thread if anyone wants to focus on those topics.
 

WJC

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The author points out some specific examples from school texts widely used ith the past. For example,
“With all the drawbacks of slavery, it should be noted that slavery was the earliest form of social security in the United States,” students read in Alabama history textbooks of the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s. And there was this: “A jail sentence or the execution of a slave was considered to be more of a punishment for the master than for the slave, because the slave was such valuable property.”​
A Virginia textbook of the same era told students that Virginia “offered a better life for the Negroes than did Africa. In his new home, the Negro was far away from the spears and war clubs of enemy tribes. He had some of the comforts of civilized life.”​
Do any of you older members recall being taught these views?
 

Tin cup

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I guess I was different. I taught it much like the article says...my kids all saw the dirty side as well as the good. What use is an education in history if you don't use it. I'm still proud of my lesson plans. I just turned down an offer to teach half-time because I don't have the patience to deal with some idiot principal or parent who doesn't think their kids should be exposed to the truth.
Heard ya!

Kevin Dally
 

O' Be Joyful

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The idea that we've ignored slavery is absurd. Quite the contrary, we're never allowed to forget it happened.

I agree to an extent. But, never was it taught--in my own experience--how its evils continued throughout the post-bellum and throughout the 20th century, and that some (not you andersonh1) continue to excuse unto this present day.

It was not until I joined this @CivilWarTalk forum, some 4 plus years ago that I began to question many, if not most of my previous inclinations and beliefs, due thankfully to the posts of the extremely well informed posters I have found here, both past and present. I am grateful for that.

All one could reasonably ask is that others sometimes stand back...distance themselves and consider the "other" side. Some on both sides will abuse and try to tweak the equation for their own ends and they should be ignored, as far as can reasonably be tolerated. But, when you have the ammunition/sources Fire Back.

Conclusion: The True story of Slavery and its aftermath has been ignored for far to long. IMHO.

Soap-box closed.

Y.M.O.S.

OBJ
 

MattL

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I agree to an extent. But, never was it taught--in my own experience--how its evils continued throughout the post-bellum and throughout the 20th century, and that some (not you andersonh1) continue to excuse unto this present day.

It was not until I joined this @CivilWarTalk forum, some 4 plus years ago that I began to question many, if not most of my previous inclinations and beliefs, due thankfully to the posts of the extremely well informed posters I have found here, both past and present. I am grateful for that.

All one could reasonably ask is that others sometimes stand back...distance themselves and consider the "other" side. Some on both sides will abuse and try to tweak the equation for their own ends and they should be ignored, as far as can reasonably be tolerated. But, when you have the ammunition/sources Fire Back.

Conclusion: The True story of Slavery and its aftermath has been ignored for far to long. IMHO.

Soap-box closed.

Y.M.O.S.

OBJ

Agreed, I think the article's point isn't that it isn't taught at all, but in how it is taught. Many of the points in the article have been shared on this forum many times, especially many of the contemporary historical teaching materials shared often by @ForeverFree, in even more detail. Though certainly there must be plenty of cases where it was indeed taught adequately seeing the materials it's hard to deny it was also talk inadequately for many as well.

I myself wasn't taught much about slavery growing up either (born and raised in Arizona mostly). It was a quick topic in history class. This was the case even though I had some excellent history teachers that got me excited on the topics of history.
 

MattL

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I think rather than simply learning about slavery in school, as I did, we now wallow in the racism and misery of it, to the point that any healing that's happened over the past century and a half is being threatened as the scab on this old wound is picked at again and again. I think it should be possible to dispassionately learn about this aspect of our nation's past, but objectivity seems to be the last thing on anyone's mind when it comes to this topic.

The idea that we've ignored slavery is absurd. Quite the contrary, we're never allowed to forget it happened.

To push the analogy further, the article (and many of us) might be arguing that it hasn't been healing properly. Like a wound with a bullet, shrapnel, wood, etc remaining inside. It has been ignored but it was infected and festered. Many of us White people have had the privilege of ignoring the festering, many people have not had that luxury. At this point the bullet must be removed, surgery needs to be performed, it must be treated appropriately so proper healing can even really start.

but objectivity seems to be the last thing on anyone's mind when it comes to this topic.

Regarding that specifically. Talk to many White Southerners about Confederate heritage and see where objectivity lands. The Civil itself and the issues that surround it result in a lack of objectivity in nearly all aspects including all groups. I think we must expect the lack of objectivity from all sides to some extent on such a massive topic that means so much to so many and made such in impact. One might argue if one is being objective they would expect a lack of objectivity and it might be appropriate (on all fronts to some extent).
 

Saint Jude

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As well they should teach Lincoln said he had no intention of interfering with slavery where it existed. That the Union went to war to end slavery is probally the biggest myth, as at the time they were stressing the opposite, so couldn't have been motivation for all those enlisting, when they were stressing its preservation

As a former history professor, I have to say that I never met a professionally trained historian who would perpetuate such myths. Unfortunately, I have no doubt that many teachers at lower levels don't have the depth of education they need to deal with the essence of history, which is change through time. It pains me to say this, but some of the the worst students I had in my American history classes were planning to be teachers.
 

O' Be Joyful

Sergeant Major
Thats the oddest thing here, as history shouldnt have sides......its a series of recorded events

Its presentation shouldnt be influenced by the politics then, or today.

I have no intention of being disrespectful towards you Archie, but sadly for many politics does influence many in their/our past history and present politics. And not only here.

Our past learning, legends and family tales which have been passed down and have been burnt into many of our memories and our very souls and need, nay, require reflection from time to time. You are a farm-boy like me, there was NO lazy when it came time to fork-out the the barn and sling it into the spreader...we needed it to fertilize the fields...less chemical $$. Now, when Dad got the tractor with the front end loader to scoop most of it, I will not deny that I was not disappointed, it was just something else to be learned how to work. Like history in a way...

OBJ
 
Joined
Mar 19, 2019
I was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and I didn’t learn until I joined these boards that there were plenty of politically and economically influential people in the North who supported slavery, or at least tolerated it, (and also opposed the war and the blockage) because their financial interests depended on cheap Southern cotton.

Also, I didn’t realize until this year that Ben Franklin owned slaves at one point.
 
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