combating the system
We do not learn about some of the most vital events in our country’s history when taking U.S. History classes in high school.
Most of the students I have talked to about this barely even know the stories of some of our country’s most influential historical figures.
Most of the teachers and admins I have brought this up to brush me off; I am a child, I don’t know any better, just sit down and pass your tests.
Passing tests won’t do anything to improve our humanity.
How can we become better American citizens?
Truth and Reconciliation aims to combat the misleading curriculum of high school history classes by providing people with research on various historical events not covered in class.
WHY WE STARTED:
by the founder, Quynn Lubs
I noticed something that made me angry.
In the College Board AP U.S. History curriculum, Theme One (American and National Identity) says, "This theme focuses on how and why definitions of American and national identity and values have developed, as well as related topics such as citizenship, constitutionalism, foreign policy, assimilation, and American exceptionalism."
American exceptionalism is the political ideology that American is inherently better than other countries.
An article from The Week by Ian Tyrrell describes American exceptionalism as "a belief that the U.S. follows a path of history different from the laws or norms that govern other countries. That's the essence of American exceptionalism: The U.S. is not just a bigger and more powerful country — but an exception."
This is scary.
So, I wrote an article about it for my school newspaper. I researched, going as far as to show the amount of times the AP exam mentioned the word "slavery" before and after the American exceptionalism section was added — 70 down to 60 — and the reason the section was added — people in the midwest felt that the APUSH course "was not patriotic enough."
I interviewed the APUSH teacher at my school who was... offended, to say the least. She immediately brought me her curriculum book and asked me to point to where it said that "American exceptionalism" was taught. So I flipped to the page and pointed at it.
She still wouldn't listen. She wanted me to revise. I didn't.
The administration told me the day before the newspaper article was meant to be printed (I had finished the page design for the magazine and everything) that I was not allowed to publish my story.
I was told I was "offensive," "insulting," and "disruptive."
I said "Thank you."
And then I decided what to do.
If the administration won't let me speak up, then I'll do it on my own.
I needed to organize a museum night exposing all of the pieces of history we aren't allowed to learn. I needed to spread my message through art, the universal form of communication. I needed to force Americans, specifically in my city, to open their eyes and refuse to listen to the information spoon-fed to us in high school.
We can no longer reside in a bubble of ignorance.
Take your education into your own hands.