Jaclyn Archer 
Member since Jan 15, 2015


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Re: “Mothers and Leaders

I didn't learn about any of these women until college, when I either stumbled across them on the internet or was taught about them in African American Experience courses I went out of my way to take. They say history is written by the victors, but I think it's more than that. History is re-written by the current power-majority to reflect its own idealized image of itself, excluding the marginalized or minimizing their contributions in retrospect, regardless of their contextual significance.

This re-writing of history is so severe that college classmates of mine have argued that the reason more women and people of color aren't included in high school history textbooks is because they didn't do anything of significance. This kind of ignorance--which is the fault of American history curriculums--perpetuates notions of black and female inferiority by obscuring the achievements, triumphs, and societal contributions of these groups.

With a few exceptions--a "tired" Rosa Parks, a lantern wielding Harriet Tubman--black women are portrayed as victims: slaves, single mothers, helpless servant girls, downtrodden domestics. Growing up I would rather have learned about women like Maria Miller Stewart, a powerful preacher who spoke before integrated audiences in the mid-1800s, or intellectual powerhouses like Anna Julia Cooper, who attended college, studied Greek, and eventually completed all the work necessary for doctorate by 1924.

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Posted by Jaclyn Archer on 01/15/2015 at 2:14 AM

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