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Tess Keating Blog for 9/27

Over the course of this class, and reading Zinn’s book, A People’s History Of The United States, I have been shocked time and time again. Coming to University of Richmond and going into this class I thought I was somewhat well educated on American history, having taken it in high school, middle school, and learning about it in elementary school. However, this book and everything we have talked about have continued to make me feel like I have only been learning half the truth. It is becoming more and more clear that the education system is somewhat brainwashing society to believe that history in America is not brutal and that there is some bad, but it outweighed by the good. It is now overwhelmingly clear that this is not that case and that it is even worse that it is being covered up.


From a very young age we learned about slavery and how it was very bad, but I we are not really taught the full extent of it. I feel like I used to just consider it sort of a blip in history and that was so long ago, but it is so much more than that. It is taught as being an equivalent to all other countries and how there was slavery there too. It was unsettling for me to read, “There was no slavery in history, even that of the Israelites in Egypt, worse than the slavery of a black man in America” (Zinn 180). Reading this came as a surprise to me because I never fully understood that slavery here was that much different than everywhere else, however it does make sense because we are still very much dealing with the effects and repercussions of it. Racism spawned from slavery which is still a huge problem in the United States. All of this makes me wonder how much else of the history I have learned has parts left out of it. I hope that these flaws continue to be exposed so that society is able to be educated about the past so we don’t recreate it in the future.

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  1. Olivia Cosco Olivia Cosco

    I really like your point about how education systems are almost brain washing us to believe America is a flawless country. I have also found that the more readings I do for this class, the more surprised I am to find out the truth of historical events.

  2. Michael Childress Michael Childress

    I agree with your point that the way we are told stories continues the possibility for these kind of behaviors to persist because we generally accept what we are taught at a young age as truth! This day’s lessons showed me too how different the stories are even within our country, as the south understands the civil war as a war of rights, and the north sees it as a war to end slavery. It’s so interesting to think about different understandings of the same issues can lead to such different views and opinions.

  3. Michael Stein Michael Stein

    I agree that it is both shocking and important to understand how brutal American slavery was compared to institutions of slavery in different countries and time periods. Perhaps, by acknowledging the extreme cruelty of abuse, family separation, and murder, we can work to understand why slavery has left such a deep and despicable stain on our nation.

  4. Mohamad Kassem Mohamad Kassem

    I think that the American system is definitely biased and does not always tell the whole picture of the story or even the right story. I think that the education system in elementary schools tends to sugar coat historical events to present America as the greatest country with the best heroes. I also agree that not acknowledging how bad slavery was has led to modern-day racism which is a big social issue in this country.

  5. Henry Groves Henry Groves

    I also was shocked that American slavery was that much worse than any other slavery around the world. Zinn saying this really drives the point about how terrible the treatment of a black man was in America.

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