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Justice & the Authority of the Past

I’m neither a Christian nor a teacher, but this resonated with me a lot, and I thought I’d share it with you.

WIT

History is story telling. It’s also much more than that. The way we tell stories communicates much about our values and perspectives. Storytelling a powerful act; those who generate the shared stories of a group’s past can exert an enormous amount of authority over the group’s sense of identity.

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Collectively we have some sense of the power hidden within historical narratives. We even have a few pithy proverbs to prove it:

  • “History is written by the victors.” –Winston Churchill/Walter Benjamin/George Orwell
  • “Until lions have their own historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter” – Nigerian Proverb/Kenyan Proverb/Chinua Achebe
  • “You have no control who lives, who dies, who tells your story.” – George Washington/Eliza Hamilton/Lin-Manuel Miranda

As I was preparing for the semester that has just begun, I’ve been thinking about the power and authority of the past how it manifests itself both in my history classrooms and…

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