Unlearning the Narrative: How We Can Better Educate Maine’s Newest Generations on New England’s Role in the Slave Trade, Segregation, and Colonization
We’ve all grown up learning the same narrative–the North and South had opposing views on slavery, segregation, and discrimination with the North being the “good guys” and the northern half of the United States being a place where fugitive slaves and all black Americans could go to find the freedom they deserved. Once in the North slaves would be completely freed and the hatred and discrimination of African Americans had a clear cut line between the North and the South. New England fell on the “good half” of that line, so it was only natural to grow up in New England believing the North had never been involved in slavery or exhibited hatred at any time in the course of history. That’s the mindset that’s been taught in public schools across the country for years, especially in New England, where its clean, Puritain history had held up for years.
All across the public school system, from grades four to twelve, public schools have been actively teaching this narrative to their students for hundreds of years. After being fed this information my entire life, imagine my surprise as when a 21 year-old college student I learned that the entire narrative about the place I call home was wrong. There were so many injustices I was just now hearing of and, being an Education major, it occurred to me that I would soon be able to teach this new material to a younger generation that could learn from it. Only by accepting the true history of New England and Maine alike would students and educators be as knowledgeable as they could be and hopefully strive to make improvements in the curriculum to include these important stories of Maine’s history.
This is Unlearning the Narrative: How We Can Better Educate Maine’s Newest Generations on New England’s Role in the Slave Trade, Segregation, and Colonization. In this podcast, we’ll discuss the different tools and topics Maine educators can use to teach their students valuable information about their own public history that was right under their noses all their lives as well as advocate why it is important for students of all ages begin learning this valuable information in their curriculums.
Charest, Sophie, "Unlearning the Narrative: How We Can Better Educate Maine’s Newest Generations on New England’s Role in the Slave Trade, Segregation, and Colonization" (2019). ENG 445: Slavery and Public History Podcasts. 3.
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