Cry of the Hawk

The student news site of North Harford High School

Cry of the Hawk

Cry of the Hawk

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History must be learned outside of school, too

Next generation at risk of forgetting past
History must be learned outside of school, too

When I took AP world history in sophomore year, I was already familiar with a lot of events that we discussed – as were many of my classmates. However, there was one thing that irked me during class one day: When Mr. Scarborough asked how many of us had heard of the Armenian Genocide, only I raised my hand.

     Perhaps that’s just because I’m a history buff. I mean, APUSH was one of my favorite classes, and one of my favorite Netflix series is WWII In Color. But, here’s the thing; I really feel like people should have already known about the Armenian Genocide, but they didn’t. 

     To me, that’s alarming. Quite alarming, actually.

     You see, history is important – maybe even the most important subject in school. Some love it, some hate it, some think it’s impractical, and some think it’s boring. However, what a lot of people don’t realize is that it is necessary.

     Philosopher George Santayana once said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” That statement holds true. If we forgot the consequences of past mistakes, we’d one hundred percent make them again without a care in the world. Unfortunately, we live in a world where history is edited to seem more palatable to people based on politics.

     According to The Hill, Florida textbooks were altered to remove the subject of race – from pages about the Civil Rights Movement. I’d say that I’m shocked, but this is Florida we’re talking about. 

     The Hill says, “In the current lesson by Studies Weekly, which is used in 45,000 elementary schools, the event is described: ‘The law said African Americans had to give up their seats on the bus if a white person wanted to sit down.’” The updated version of the textbook simply says, “She was told to move to a different seat.”

     Yeah, no. That’s not gonna cut it, Ron.

     When you cut certain things from a history lesson, it removes the importance of the whole thing. Rosa Parks, as we know, was asked to move seats because the Jim Crow laws at the time stated that Black people had to move to let White people sit up front. That’s the cold, hard truth, and only saying, “she was told to move to a different seat,” erases the significance of Parks’ defiance. The Civil Rights Movement, without providing the necessary context of racism, is essentially rendered meaningless and completely demeans the people who fought one of the toughest battles in American history.

     This is why we need to educate ourselves outside school; not only are people completely ignorant of important historical events, but some places are trying to guide history to a ‘less controversial’ light. If you’re so afraid of what history has to tell you, then I’m sorry; you need to get a grip. You cannot change the past. Sure, more can be uncovered about the past, but you cannot change it. If you don’t agree with literal facts, then you’re just being stubborn.

     New generations of Americans shouldn’t be denied their own history for the sake of trying to please people; if students don’t learn things on our own, will we learn the truth? Or will we be subject to a ‘less controversial,’ meaningless version of history?

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