• Doug Most

    Associate Vice President, Executive Editor, Editorial Department Twitter Profile

    Doug Most is a lifelong journalist and author whose career has spanned newspapers and magazines up and down the East Coast, with stops in Washington, D.C., South Carolina, New Jersey, and Boston. He was named Journalist of the Year while at The Record in Bergen County, N.J., for his coverage of a tragic story about two teens charged with killing their newborn. After a stint at Boston Magazine, he worked for more than a decade at the Boston Globe in various roles, including magazine editor and deputy managing editor/special projects. His 2014 nonfiction book, The Race Underground, tells the story of the birth of subways in America and was made into a PBS/American Experience documentary. He has a BA in political communication from George Washington University. Profile

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There are 5 comments on Ibram X. Kendi Wants Children, and Teachers, to Challenge How History Is Taught

  1. Many cultures shared their history with each other via storytelling. These stories can be written today and shared or taught in addition to current history book. Better even to rewrite history books to be more accurate and to include the perspectives of others. And Christopher Columbus should not have a national holiday because his history is not recorded accurately in history books. The whole of his personality and actions could be recorded. Yet what age / grade will rape and murder of others be included in grade school books ? How will that truth be told? Different age appropriate words at best. Still not a person to celebrate.

  2. Here’s another question to consider: How do you recognize when your teachers are abusing their authority to promote their own dogma and propaganda?

  3. Humans intuitively look for pattern and meaning between events, as we know nothing occurs in isolation. It’s natural to presume the subsequent period was influenced by the preceding events. But, we must acknowledge that the presentation of those events doesn’t nearly encompass the varying intensities and shades of impact towards different groups of people. Correlation and causation are not synonymous; yet assumptions are made when interpreting history based on the perspective presented, typically being that of the majority.

    In history class, we are taught to associate certain dates with certain events. Their presentation can be evaluated by asking: “How does the association of between an event and a time period disdain one group in the same breath it praises another?” Our past is inconsistently indexed, categorized, and displayed as a linear story, retold by those with the loudest voice. The trials and tribulations of that voice rattles across the vast echo-chamber of the human condition, entropically influencing the internal monologues of our individual experiences. It may even taint our recollection and the validity of our own perspective. But the voices of history, although booming and decrepit, aren’t omniscient and thus even the silent cries of the voiceless add value to our understanding of historical events. The way we simplify the historic events in class and the popular culture blinds us to the profound depth and complexity of the past. The lessons we could learn from alternate perspectives would spark questions that allow us not only to challenge but expand the rigid yet fragile framework of undeniable truths we’ve built our present selves on.

  4. We should leave the teaching of history to real teachers and real historians. The propagandist of any shape or form should be kept from influencing the curriculum. Soviet dictators also demanded changes to the curriculum and it did not end well.

    “Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted” – Vladimir Lenin

    “Education is a weapon, whose effect depends on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed” – Joseph Stalin

  5. I’m a US history prof, multiracial background; my views on American history, American society & race differ from Dr. Kendi’s in most respects, however, I agree that the questions he poses here are good & valid ones that any serious history instructor should urge his students to follow.

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