Rewriting World History

I found this show very useful:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01nt2d1

I agree with most of what was said, particularly the need for a revision of history, and consideration of multiple histories. I put some of these arguments forward in reading group in discussion of Andrea Stuart’s book Sugar in the Blood:

http://www.tricia-blackbooknews.com/2012/09/interview-with-andrea-stuart.html

I found it interesting that whilst most people can agree on racism as wrong, history remains a contentious issue. Stuart reconnects British history to Barbados and the sugar trade. Whilst it is only one revision of British history, it led to discussion in the reading of history in school. I contested that black history is taught, if not badly. By its very name, black history, the Atlantic Slave Trade is taken out of the context of a world history, and is never detailed enough, nor taught from varying perspectives. It seems quite superficial, and taught just to appease black communities rather than educate all of society. On reflection, my lessons on black history were only ever about slavery and was only ever presented as white American’s as powerful exploiters, and Africans as exploited victims.

The subject of history was also contentious as the members of the reading group had their own individual and personal interpretations of histories, particularly the Atlantic Slave Trade. I feel that this narrative can be quite divisive, and forces whites to adapt an apologetic attitude, and blacks to demonstrate a healed and recuperated identity. History gets more problematic when it is used in the present as a means for justification or blame, especially when accounts either aren’t accurately recorded, omitted, or taught incorrectly.

I feel sufficiently removed, and indifferent to the Atlantic Slave Trade, not least because I never lived it, to tackle it in this project. I really want to challenge how it is taught, thought of, and theorized in the present day.

 

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