Oh boy, get ready to talk about a difficult, but interesting topic!
First, I would like you to think about your family history and stories you may have. I believe that all of us have those silly stories that we share with our family that make those connections special and unique from any other. We pass on these stories from generation to generation, keeping that history alive.
But could you imagine someone telling you that your family history is not as important as others may be? Who is so special enough to determine that? Well, what a great question!
In our class, we screened the documentary, “Precious Knowledge,” which told a story about “Chicanos” in a high school in Arizona. This school was at the time providing Ethnic Awareness classes, for what they described as a celebration of their culture and allowed the students to learn more about their history.
In these classes, they were provided readings and videos about the history of their culture and took part in discussions to keep them engaged. I found it particularly interesting that so many of the students were actively taking part in the class without hesitation.
At the beginning of the video, they brought up the argument that segregation was becoming part of our school systems once again and something needed to be done about the problem. Almost 50% of Chicano students were dropping out of high school because of their detachment from the school system. They believed that all materials being taught to them were only that of American history, mainly on the side of the White.
It is so interesting to me that once these classes began to be offered, that the graduation rate shot up into the 90%. This is a strong example as to the power behind our history and its effects that it has on all of us.
But although this may not seem like such a big deal to many of us, a problem was sparked and ignited what seemed to be something so simple and harmless and turned it into a possible rebellion against other ethnicity.
Some members of the government believed that this was their way of creating somewhat of an uprising and intention to segregate themselves.
The idea of who decides who shares what history is very much present in this situation. The American government was trying to protect the history of the White Americans, while the Chicanos were trying to preserve their history while also integrating it into the school system along side of the White history.
Ultimately, the government won their case, preventing the school system from having classes with this material in it.
To answer the question I posed earlier, I personally have taken away the thought that those with the most amount of power will have the ability to pass the history on, but this does not seclude those with a different type of power. People who have such a love for their culture will always carry that history in their heart, which no one can take away.
This is such a difficult topic and many different opinions can be formed. I am very much interested in your opinions, so please tell me how you see this topic. “What determines whose histories and stories get told?”