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  • History Retold Project

The Totem Pole

Because I am a straight, white woman, I have seen myself represented in school and in history, but I also know that it does not represent everyone. In the American Dream, it is "work hard and everything will work out," but I know that while that might work for me, even without the bonus of my going to private school, it won't work for many because of their racial, socioeconomic, or ethnic backgrounds. I don't feel that the American curriculum accurately represents the people it serves, because many people won't see people like themselves until high school, college, or even only when doing their own research. I think that the white, male-centric narrative of history is dangerous for all people. The white males will grow up thinking they're better than everyone because of how they were shown in a textbook containing solely white, male-centric historical ideas. For most other people, it makes them feel less-than or powerless and keeps the white men at the top of the totem pole of society because of how they believe their ancestors were, whether it is true or not. If I was a teacher I would make sure to show all ethnicities and lifestyles and make sure that the students were well represented to try and help dismantle the straight, white, male-dominated patriarchy of society today. I believe that I have had it easy and have found myself represented in most places, but I know many people don't get the privilege of seeing that for themselves.

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