History Is History: No Matter How Ugly

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A mural at George Washington high school. Photograph: Walter Thompson/The Guardian

Health Editor’s Note:  As someone who has taught history and been a long time fan of the subject, I know that history is revised over and over again, either to hide what really happened or to make past life more politically correct.  The Greek historian,Herodotus, recorded history hundreds of years ago , during about 400 B.C.,  with more accuracy than the history that is written down now and in our past. Our current history books are full of inaccuracies.  I would refer you to Howard Zinn’s, A People’s History, for a window into how inaccurate our written history is. The definition of history would be an actual portrayal of what happened, how it happened, where it happened, why it happened, etc….Carol 

A school’s mural removal: should kids be shielded from brutal US history?

From the Guardian

Depending on whom you ask, a 1,600-sq-ft art installation at George Washington high school in San Francisco is either an unflinching look at American history, a stark depiction of violence against oppressed minorities – or both.

In New Deal-era murals spanning the staircase and lobby, the Russian emigre Victor Arnautoff depicted Washington in 13 scenes. Two in particular have generated student complaints for more than 50 years, and in April, an ad hoc committee recommended that the artwork be archived and removed.

In one, the statesman stands over a map of a young America while pointing westward; at the end of his arm, four white settlers with rifles rendered in monochrome walk over the full-color body of a deceased Indian whose face is turned away from the viewer. At the dead man’s feet, another Native American, wearing a headdress, sits at a campfire and shares a pipe with another armed white man.

On the opposite wall, the owner of the plantation at Mount Vernon confers with a white man who gestures at some of Washington’s slave laborers: a shoeless black man shucking corn, three stooped, faceless black women in the far distance picking cotton and another black man who hammers wood for a group of white men manufacturing barrels.

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1 COMMENT

  1. I would like to see the word “History” as a legal definition. It should be unlawful to use the term for speculation or fiction

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