Loewen Chpt. 5-6 summary - Kaleb Cope Prof Cleveland Lies...

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Kaleb Cope Prof. Cleveland 6-8-2011 Lies My Teacher Told Me Summary Chpt. 5-6 Lies My Teacher Told Me is a book by James W. Loewen in where he tries to explain some problems with history books. Loewen takes 12 history books and tries to critique them on what they contain and what they omit. He begins by explaining that the history books of the United States do not mention that the first settlers were black slaves and that from the very beginning rebelled against slavery. This theme in history of domination of black America by white America becomes a pervasive one. Loewen then goes into certain facts about history and how over the years white America has told itself varying stories about the enslavement of blacks. He gives the two main examples of Uncle Tom`s Cabin which presents slavery as an evil to be opposed while Gone with the Wind suggests that slavery was an ideal social structure whose passing is to be lamented. Loewen argues that until the 1960`s history books took the side of Gone with the Wind and since the Civil Rights movement textbooks have returned part of the way toward Uncle Tom`s Cabin`s devastating indictment of the institution. Since the success of the civil rights movement authors have implied that the problem of black-white race relations has now been solved, at least formally which enables textbooks to discuss slavery without departing from their customarily optimistic tone. Loewen explains that though textbooks show the horror of slavery and the impact it had on black America but has trouble acknowledging that anything might be wrong with white Americans or with the United States as a whole. Slavery`s twin legacies to the present are the social and economic inferiority it conferred upon blacks and the cultural racism it instilled in whites. In omitting racism or treating it so poorly, history textbooks shirk a critical responsibility of explaining that not all whites are or have been racist and levels of racism have changed over time. This is a key point Loewen tries to

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