So I came across this article, Protecting White Kids From History, that is quite near to my heart for two reasons: I am a lover of banned books, and I am a lover of teaching true history.
In most public schools, students learn history from text books that are written and edited by large cooperations. These texts are often one sided, and history is told from the point of view of the victor. In high school, I hated history….but I loved literature. It was in literature that I felt that i could actually connect to the voices within a story. In Protecting White Kids From History, it is discussed how Toni Morrison’s book Beloved is perceived as a threat to some because it is a tragic and traumatic story….a story that is based on truth. I am becoming more and more aware that learning isn’t always a comfortable journey to go on….I have been haunted by a number of books (Room , Night , Everything Is Illuminated just to name a few…) but I have learned things from them that I don’t think I could have learned from any other source.
Beloved connects to a point in history that students in the United States should be aware of….They should be aware of the scars and wounds that exist around them. To shelter them from these ideas is stripping them of their identity, in a sense. It, of course, can lead them to make some of the mistakes that have been made in the past. To understand the past will allow students to understand the present, and to give them false information, or heavily edited information will be equivalent to feeding them false identities of themselves as well as the world that exists around them.