March 12 2013
Started from the Bottom
What is History? Is it purely stories handed down from generation to generation or is it simply the things we read about in history books? Is the history described in books today precise or has the whole truth been Throughout the course of history, there have been many events and stories that have been told and handed down from generation to generation gradually giving the current age an understanding of the history that people have lived through. History comes from people with first hand accounts of the events that took place in the past and the stories that they tell others about their experiences. As seen in Gordon Parks’ “Speaking for the Past” and Thomas R. Partsch’s “March 16-18, 1968”, history is most often than not, told from the bottom up with a bias that provokes the reader to feel certain emotions about the story or history being told.
In Gordon Parks’ “Speaking for the Past”, Parks recollects about his life as a young adult living in a one-room kitchenette in Harlem. He uses first person perspective when telling the story of his youth growing up in “cities of blackness, crammed inside larger cities of whiteness”(Parks 418). Parks writes, “I was born a black boy inside a black world…I’m remembering hunks of my time being murdered away as I suffered blistering hot summers or at the salt of equally cruel winters” (418). This shows how this is his perspective of life growing up in the ghetto of Harlem but growing up in Harlem could’ve all been different for his neighbors, his relatives, or a white man. Each perspective could be different but because one hears a certain perspective from someone with a first hand account, one is more likely to believe his/or her story and that is how history is shaped. It proves why history is told from the bottom up because it is always told with a certain bias from the perspective of the first hand account. Parks again...
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