History.

The way that history is commonly presented in the US (at least in my experience) has been lacking in intersectionality and ironically historical context. I don’t think that individual history teachers are the root of this problem in part because there are systemic issues that play out, like how public schools are often underfunded, overcrowded, and fail to address racism.

Months and events like Black History Month and LGBTQ+ History Month are so necessary because of the ways in which we as a society (especially we as white people in power) have written about history. We often alienate the others of society while learning about history – we whitewash and in some cases, don’t even address some things. (And no we don’t need a White History Month because that’s literally every other goddamn month at this point. We don’t need everything to be about us and our whiteness!!)

I think it’s so important to relearn history and reimagine the ways in which we talk and interact with historical events and people because the way history is often presented, we miss out on so much context and understanding. There are so many examples and things that we miss out on in the whitewashing of history:

And there’s so much of queer history that exists but hardly mentioned. Being queer or LGBTQ+ isn’t new or some trend – there’s a rich history of this community and LGBTQ+ people. Eboné Bell collected some images of queer pioneers from the past and there’s even a pop up museum of queer history that does temporary art installations celebrating the largely unknown LGBT history.

The Stonewall Inn Riots and the Cooper’s Donuts, and Compton’s Cafeteria riots are all important events in US LGBTQ+ history but hardly ever widely spoken of. The Quist App has a wide range of information and resources about queer history, like how guys found guys before the internet and LGBT history walking tours.

There are some interesting ways to learn about history (because it can be boring at times). I already mentioned the Quist App for LGBTQ+ history but there’s also the podcast Stuff You Missed in History, one that I actually really like listening to!

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2 thoughts on “History.

  1. The history we’re taught in school is that of the victorious wealthy elite who have illicitly seized control of our lives. It will be up to us – the powerless – to reclaim our history and articulate events of the last 300-400 years as they actually happened. Largely thanks to the Internet and social media, I believe that process has already started.

    • YEP! You’re 100% right – history is always written (and usually taught) by the victorious and those in power. You articulated exactly why I’m so frustrated with how history is presented but I also think there’s hope for the future because of the internet and social media.

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