One Anti-Racist Action You Can Take Today: Relearn History

One Anti-Racist Action You Can Take Today: Relearn History

By Guimel DeCarvalho
Director of People and Culture, Chief Diversity Officer

You may have heard the phrase “history is written by the winners” or “history is written by the victors.” The origin of the phrase is unknown but is often attributed to Sir Winston Churchill. The basic meaning is that the history Americans learn in grade school was written by, and taught from, a white perspective. The narrative is told through the white lens of the oppressor, not the oppressed. It’s the reason why many people first learned about Juneteenth this year. It’s also the reason many people are questioning why they never learned about Black Wall Street or Black history outside of Black History Month. 

“…American history has been dominated by white men. While women and minorities have gained a greater voice in modern society, history has still been written by white men.”  – Chris Ryder, author of a column that appeared in Odyssey (link below).

There are many resources available that challenge the narrative such as “A People’s History of the United States” by Howard Zinn. The text includes the point of view of women, factory workers and African Americans, Native Americans immigrants and the working poor that have been largely ignored.

If you prefer online classes, Varsity Tutors partnered with Nareissa Smith, lead instructor and former Howard Law Professor, and several other experts from the Varsity Tutors community to teach a series of free live classes. The curated curriculum is designed to enlighten and educate the next generation of leaders who will make a difference in eradicating systemic racism and driving social change. Classes are free, online, and made for grades K-5 and 7-12.

Other resources:
Chronicle of Higher Education – Textbook Racism, How Scholars Sustained White Supremacy 
Vox – How history textbooks reflect America’s refusal to reckon with slavery
Odyssey – (Partial) History: Why ‘History Is Written By The Victors’ Couldn’t Be More True, A quote by Winston Churchill revisited.”
The Slate – Give it a thought: Americans don’t know Black history

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