American History: Reappraisal and Revision

Archive Report

Reappraisal of Negro Role in History

How america views its past is a recurring theme in the endless stream of analyses of “what's wrong” in this country. It is often suggested that “history is catching up with us”—that the convergence of troubles at home and abroad is exposing myths of American history. “Star-spangled” textbooks, the mass media, and even American Presidents stand accused of having purveyed a false notion of national omnipotence and righteousness.

Historians, who are doing much of the accusing, are themselves on the firing line. War in Viet Nam and the Black Revolution in America have caused them to reappraise old verdicts and assumptions that touch upon current concerns—race, poverty and war. The Negro demands that history books be “integrated” with his achievements, ...

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