18 October, 2016

Teaching the American Civil War to Minorities & the Younger Generation

A while back, I read an article about why less African Americans and other minorities study the American Civil War. After hearing the view of a civil war reenactor and others who study the war, I wanted to discuss this. Many wonder why there aren't many minorities like myself, who researches the Civil War. The article suggested that it is being presented to minorities, but they are not interested in learning about it. I do agree. This is from personal experience. I cannot really comment on stuff I did not witness for myself.

When I ask African Americans, they tell me they don't know and they don't care. Here is some pretty weird answers; some thought it happened in the 1700's, and Abraham Lincoln was president in the 1900's or 1600's. There is other weird answers. I was just laughing.

I am unsure about those of Middle Eastern descent (Arabs, Iranians, Turks and whatever else) or Indians (Meaning South Asians). East Asians can be more interested in learning about the American Civil War. Then again, I came across those who also gives me strange answers. I get a lot that most thinks the American Revolutionary War is the same as the American Civil War. They shrug their shoulders and say, they don't care. I can excuse the immigrants, but those who have been here all their lives is kind of interesting.

A Civil War researcher said also the younger generation lacks interest. I agree with this as well. I noticed throughout the years, people have became less interested in learning, well, majority of things. History is the number one topic no one cares about anymore. When I observe those my age, they say pretty much the same thing. They don't know, nor do they care to know. It's quite entertaining to listen as they guess things. This is what I admire about the Japanese and other East Asians. Some people believe East Asians are more interested in technology and other things. However, compared to Americans, almost every country has the United States beat. They take the time to learn their country's history and culture.

I did run across one reason why minorities will not study American history. The article suggested they are more interested in Teen Pregnancy than learning. In a way, I believe this is true. Another thing is that, most believe it is degrading to learn about slavery. Although some may argue I wouldn't feel that way, but I don't think it is degrading. It's nice to know your own country's history. More minorities and the younger generation should take the time to learn about history, especially the American Civil War. Most wonder why things are the way they are today, but they fail to realize, history has shaped the country into what it is now. No one should try to hide or cover up what happened. I am aware slavery was an ugly incident. However, it's still nice to be educated. Honestly, it can be embarrassing how so many Americans don't know the basic things about their own country. Also, they don't know much about other countries as well.

I am unsure what should happen, but I am currently trying to promote history especially the American Civil War to the minorities and younger generation.

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