The Wichitan

Speaker to offer new perspective on American history

Chris Marten

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The spring Speakers and Issues Series will begin with a talk by Edward Countryman, history professor at Southern Methodist University, on March 24. Countryman will discuss his book, “Enjoy the Same Liberty: Black Americans and the Revolutionary Era.”

Whitney Snow, assistant professor of history, said she suggested Countryman for his book’s subject matter and to offer a different viewpoint on American history.

“Recently, history books from African American perspectives have been coming out more and more,” Snow said. “Honestly we could have a whole class dedicated to it. Minorities’ roles in our history should have a larger emphasis, although we’ve made great strides in that area.”

Aaryn Taylor, nursing senior, said she believes the core college history courses analyze African American figures and uncomfortable issues to a greater extent, but fail to add new content.

“Events like this are a good start,” Taylor said. “In college I learned more from our perspective, but the instructors really just hit the main points like slavery, Malcolm X and Martin Luthor King Jr. I definitely feel like there needs to be focused classes, and I’m sure Hispanic or Asian Americans feel similarly.”

Francisco Ramos, biology sophomore, said he lost interest in his high school history courses because he felt that not enough time is dedicated to the Hispanic viewpoint.

“I feel like most of the history classes I took were focused on white historical figures. The only Hispanic ones I remember talking about were in Texas history,” Ramos said. “I think that if kids were exposed to their own heritage beforehand, they may be motivated to participate. I know that I would have.”

The lecture starts at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 24, at the Wichita Falls Museum of art at MSU.

Additional Info:

Midwestern State University diversity:

  • American Indian or Alaskan Native | 0.8%
  • Asian | 2.6%
  • Black | 13.6%
  • Hispanic | 14.8%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander | 0.2%
  • Nonresident Alien | 8.8%
  • White | 55.5%
  • Two or More Races | 2.9%
  • Unknown | 0.8%

Source: http://www.mwsu.edu/about-mwsu/quickfacts/index

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Speaker to offer new perspective on American history