History in the Making
In “Let’s Tell the Story of All America’s Cultures” (520) Yuh Ji-Yeon recounts her experiences as she went through the public school system. Yeon shares how her own convictions led her to learn the true definition of what makes a true American. In the public school system Yeon explains how she never learned about the many people whose stories collectively have woven the fabric that makes up the history of the United States. After being tormented by school children for appearing different Yeon shares that she began to question her own American authenticity. So when other children called me a slant-eyed chink and told me to go back where I came from, I was ready to believe that I wasn’t really and American because I wasn’t white. (521) Yeon share some interesting truths she was never taught in grade school. She also comments on how being an immigrant she was made to feel that the dream of an America was so far beyond her when in fact, it is a story of immigrants and the contributions they have made through the ages. I never heard one word about how Asian immigrants were among the first to turn California’s desert into fields of plenty. (520) America changed them, but they changed America too. (521) From her beginning, Yeon disagrees with the curriculum she was taught and challenges it for its credibility. Educators around the country are finally realizing what I realized as a teenager in the library, looking up the history I wasn’t getting in school. (521) The attitude toward what actually occurred in our nation’s history has gradually become one of more historical data and factual illumination. It is due to this, that scholars and teachers are beginning to adopt an approach to share of America and her diverse cultural background. They recommend that public schools provide a “multicultural education, anchored to the shared principles of a liberal democracy.” (521) This is rewarding to learn as future generations...
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