Rewriting American History

The first time I cared about American history was when it was told from an African American perspective.

Storyteller Tammy Hall performed to commemorate 1619: 400 years.

I had no interest in American history until I heard Tammy Hall reenact an African folk tale about the beauty of diversity and coming together even though you’re different.

I might have been so taken up with Hall’s riveting performance precisely because she gave voice to people who have been robbed of their voice.

According to Hall it’s not okay to call individuals “slaves.”

The correct term is enslaved Africans. They were Kings and Queens tribal leaders blacksmiths teachers healers artisans and others.

It’s possible that I identified with them because I too used to have a history.

I was a disc jockey on FM radio from 1985 to 1987 when I was in college.

Then after I had the breakdown I was no longer seen as an individual. I was viewed as a mental patient.

There’s no comparison in how I crossed over and how Africans were forced to cross over into a new land.

Only I understood the damage inflicted when a person is stripped of their identity.

Numerous times in this blog I’ve talked about the beauty of individuality.

The problem is that the way history is taught is all wrong. I’ve always believed this.

Show us the Kings and Queens. Show us the artisans and tribal leaders.

My hope is that good can come of the widespread protests.

Young people are the future of society. Generation Z is thought to be a bigotry-free Generation.

I’m looking at the under-30s–and I’m looking at people of all ages–to do our part.

Rewriting American history is the first step.

We put a man on the moon. We can create a fair and just world on earth.

Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and athlete.

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