American history

American history


Is MLK’s Dream of Social Justice Actually Possible?

social justice June 25th, 2018

It might sound odd or indefensible to claim that Martin Luther King Jr.’s wonderful speech known as “I Have a Dream” was determined by MLK to be more of a nightmare than a dream of peace and tranquility. In fact, if you think about it, the phrase “the American dream” refers not to racial or social justice, but striking it rich. Indeed, American values (the dark ones) dashed King’s buoyant optimism present when he wrote about his dream, and he knew this before he died. Will social justice and racial integration ever be realized? Your guess is as good as mine.

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American History Reflects Certain Values

American February 13th, 2018

I came across a quote that really moved me, and I was getting into it with a friend about whether liberals are biased and whether conservatism is just a bit odious. I want to “sketch out” why I am a liberal (a political designation, but also the more philosophical meaning of the term), and why, therefore, I criticize America. To that end, I will use quotations, not by crafting sentences and paragraphs. I think of it like a mosaic – every piece is made of a small piece of glass, but together it makes sense to the eye. It’s going to read like social criticism mixed with a clear-eyed recognition of some American strengths. In so doing, I will look to history’s intellectuals, artists, and fighters for social justice to do the talking for me.

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True History: Learning from Our Past (V&E-10)

history November 14th, 2017

In this discussion, we will explore the stories and recollections of persons who have made a minor or major contribution to United States history, fomented progress in one of our many historical struggles, and/or exemplified values and virtues that often belie their marginal social position. These unique “voices” take the form of quotations, essays, narratives, testimonies, and historical records that have been preserved, passed on, or uncovered. My distinguished guest co-authored the book Voices of a People’s History of the United States with Howard Zinn, and has also collaborated with Noam Chomsky on his awesome website. Read on to learn more about the history of the United States you probably didn’t hear about in 6th grade.

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