1. What is African-American history?
African-American history are those events that started with the first slave ships from Africa to the Caribbean Islands and carry through their journey as a people both individually and collectively to today's societies across the Americas.
2. "How have your ideas about African-American history in particular and history in general been shaped by the contexts in which you encountered these histories?"
I was born and raised in San Francisco, CA. I am Hispanic however my neighborhood was multi-racial and race very rarely was an issue that I faced growing up. I didn't start to realize that African-American's had their own history within American history until I met and married my wife who is from Mississippi. I always saw everyone as equals and although I knew about the civil rights movement, to me those days were long behind us as a nation and I never had really experienced racism. The first time my wife took me to Mississippi, my whole idea about equality was shattered. I watched for 4 days as my wife's brothers, cousins, aunts, uncles and friends would act sub servant to whites whether it was at a gas station, restaurant or grocery store. I heard the N word used more in 4 days than I had ever heard it before my entire life. This really angered me and I told my wife that I was going to start saying something about it while we were out and about but my wife told me that nothing good could come of it and to just hold it inside. This was 1992 and those 4 days really changed my perspective not only on African-American history but on American history and how cruel and violent it must have been to be Black from the mid-20th Century back. It became apparent to me that most who write history have a reason or a hidden agenda to write what they write. Not to say that all history is a lie but it became quite obvious to me that history can be shifted and molded to sound or feel a certain way,