We are fed from every media outlet how wonderful, how brave, how selfless, how free America is. How justified America is in essentially every action taken throughout history. However, when you hear about the lives of individual Americans you find quite a different account of American life and society— one of historical bigotry, oppression, racism, violence, and grand dismissal of groups of people and their identities. I believe this strongly, especially so for the minority population of America. As a minority, this issue personally resonates with me.
I was immediately drawn to the Ta-Nehisi Coates’ piece because it told a truthful account of the historical oppression that African Americans faced after slavery through sharecropping, lack of access to proper education, and a proper standard of living. It differs greatly from from the happy, poodle skirt, baby boom, Levittown squeaky clean story of the 1950’s we are otherwise told in our textbooks. Today African Americans face the same societal barriers and are constantly blocked from social mobility just as Clyde Ross and his generation were. They, as well as many more minorities face struggles due to the historically drawn stereotypes and stigmas. Despite these facts of our modern day America, I believe that we the people can change the course of our history. We can create a country where every identity is valid and equally valued. Let us reverse the social amnesia that has afflicted us and let the truth prevail, resound, and promote change.
Mary Louise Mora