History You Never Learned In School

History class can get a bad rap because of the stories that textbooks focus on. We're taught about conquerors and settlers, but many critical moments in history are often overlooked. If the social uprisings of the past several years have taught us anything, it's that history is more complex and nuanced than what we learned in the classroom and deserves attention, dialogue and a reconsideration of whose story is told. 

Take a look at the following list to learn about history that often gets ignored in class.

Up until recently, one of the most overlooked historical events in U.S. history was the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre that occurred in the thriving Black community known as Black Wall Street in Oklahoma. Black Birds in the Sky by Brandy Colbert is full of newspaper articles, photographs and information that shed light on this important event and its complex ramifications. 

When you think about Asian American history, my bet is that Pearl Harbor and internment camps are some of the historical events that come to mind. In From A Whisper to A Rallying Cry, author Paula Yoo dives into how the murder of Vincent Chin in Detroit in 1982 reinvigorated the campaign for Asian American rights in this country. Racism against Japanese people was at an all-time high in Detroit, the heartland of the U.S. automobile industry. Workers needed an enemy to blame for the decline of good paying jobs and Japan quickly became the villain. 

Kekla Magoon, author of Light It Up and award winner, How It Went Down, is set to release her new book, Revolution In Our Time: The Black Panther Party's Promise To The People, later this year. Magoon gives the Black Panther Party the historical significance it deserves and explores how this profound movement impacted future social movements in this timely and necessary book.


“Indians. We are so often imagined, but so infrequently misunderstood.” The opening line of Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians but Were Afraid to Ask by Anton Treuer, describes this unique book perfectly. If reading long boring chapters or explanations isn’t really your thing, but you are curious and have questions, then this is for you. 

What is one thing you've learned that wasn't included in your history class?

 

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