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The answer to this question is NO.

There is only one American history, but two experiences within it. The dominant experience is the White European experience. And the second is all others, from diverse ethnic backgrounds. For this discussion we focus on the African Slave cultural experience, which is the most prominent historical experience alongside the White European cultural experience.

Traditionally, when American history is taught, the White European experience is dominant. The African Slave culture experience is secondary (along with many others including Native American, Mexican American, Chinese American, and the rest).  America has been a cultural melting pot. Prior to the age of commercial aviation, everyone who arrived here, somehow, from somewhere, became an inhabitant. Therefore, our one American history has multiple cultural experiences.

Why do we ask the first question: Does our country have two histories? By virtue of the previous paragraph, the answer is simple.  America’s history does not belong to the White man, it belongs to God, who in His Divine wisdom, mercy and supreme love, brought us all here to be together.

So the real question is, in the words of Rodney King, “why can’t we all get along”. If we are to be one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all, then we must understand, accept and respect everyone’s experience in this one United States of America.

Do you accept/agree with this perspective of American History? Why or why not?

Why has the American understanding of history not fully acknowledged the African Slave cultural experience?

Why do you think America, from its beginnings, developed as a multicultural society? By accident? By design? By opportunism?

Has the dominance of one cultural experience helped or hindered the advance of our American experience and society?

Please share your thoughts below.

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Scott Simonds
Scott Simonds
2 months ago

Hi Daryl. In answer to the question about whether there is one American history. I believe there is merit to your argument that there is one history, but two experiences (and more) within it. That’s a great response and one that deserves deep, objective reflection, especially because different races and ethnic groups are still sharing different experiences as our national history unfolds. I think the only complete narrative is one we don’t have full access to. And that’s from a Divine perspective. So I can only speak from my own experience. I come from a liberal family. My father ran… Read more »

Gail Snow
Gail Snow
2 months ago

Really appreciate this discussion question. I am not a scholar, but, as a native citizen of Oklahoma, I was devastated when I learned only last year about the Tulsa Massacre. In the 60’s and 70’s , I took Oklahoma History in High School and, again, in undergraduate school . In those courses , not a word was ever mentioned about horrible behavior and tragic events of that day. I am grateful that we are having an High Noon experience,here in Oklahoma, learning about the history that had been suppressed and denied for so long.

Kate Tsubata
Kate Tsubata
2 months ago

Just the same as the Biblical record traces histories of seemingly ordinary people who, by virtue of their faith and their love of God and mankind, became essential and influential people for God’s purpose, I would posit that there is, within the U.S., a remnant of people of living faith. These are the people who answered to a higher power. They returned good for evil. They saw lacks and inequities and they built solutions. They challenged unrighteous laws or practices, often paying a terrible price. They didn’t just “have faith,” but they “lived faith in action.” Although there have been… Read more »

Jeremiah Tobin
Jeremiah Tobin
2 months ago

There are a multitude of American Histories. It’s not just black and white. The Irish were slave in this country long before the blacks and even after they came. The American Indian was treated horribly. And, what about the Chinese, Italians, Jewish, etc. This country was made up of people who paid indemnity to be called Americans. We need to knock off the divisiveness and unite as one people under God.

Jeremiah Tobin
Jeremiah Tobin
Reply to  Pastor Daryl M. Clarke
2 months ago

Irish being indentured to English was slavery. They never made enough to buy their freedom and the english used the women as breeding hens. They were beaten and misused just as were the black slaves. I do not know why but once the english had the black slaves they quit using the Irish. The other races and nationalities that conflicted with the english were not enslaved but were sorely abused. I think a review of who in history began slavery would be enlightening. Karma.

Jeremiah Tobin
Jeremiah Tobin
Reply to  Jeremiah Tobin
2 months ago

There is only one race – the Human Race! All lives matter!

Mark Anderson
Mark Anderson
2 months ago

Good points by Carol and David Eaton. Every individual has their own experiences, viewpoints and lifestyles. The United States gives immense freedom for individuals to express themselves and live life as they see fit. It is time to stop worrying about race and skin color and concentrate on maintaining the freedoms we have to be ourselves. MLK said it best when he said to judge people based on the content of their character and not the color of their skin. This works both ways. There are good and bad people in every race and no race is superior to any… Read more »

Donna Ferrantello
Donna Ferrantello
2 months ago

Rev.Daryl Clarke has a heartfelt love of God and for building His kingdom.  His post brings me to ask several questions: Where does he get the notions about the teaching of American history? Do his ideas come from reading other thinkers and texts, such as 1619? Has he taught in public schools or colleges or been a graduate student for the last 4-5 decades? Well, I have done all three, having taught in more than several colleges, and high schools and studied in three graduate programs during 1977-2014.   The main course I taught was American Literature I that included culture… Read more »

Donna Ferrantello
Donna Ferrantello
Reply to  Pastor Daryl M. Clarke
2 months ago

I think you misunderstood the question. It is not about capability; but
asking where you got your information. Have you been in classes that
taught material, teacher preparation of it or talked to someone else or
read a book? This is a fair question: How do we know what we know?
We all can learn from the question of where we got our opinions! It may surprise us to find out!

Christopher Fox
Christopher Fox
Reply to  Donna Ferrantello
26 days ago

(How do we know what we know?) Do we actually “know” anything unless we pound books through academia? How did I know some Asian man was the 2nd coming before I ever layed eyes on him? How did I know excerpts of the Divine Principle before my first lecture? When my opinions began to change from encounters with an invisible force for good influencing my thoughts and actions, was I delusional? Spirit world is real.Our ancestors make up a portion of that world. Thus, I am a product of all those who came before me. Thank God!

Chris Noble
Chris Noble
3 months ago

There is not one “White European experience” and “all others”. There is a rainbow of experiences that spans the spectrum of racial, economic and cultural traditions. Compressing and ignoring the multiplicity of all of the “non-other” experiences into one “White” experience is a barrier to social progress and community.

Chris Noble
Chris Noble
Reply to  Pastor Daryl M. Clarke
2 months ago

Hi Daryl, as soon as I read the first sentence, “two experiences”, I thought, “no, a wide diversity of experiences”. It was not a strong reaction, but rather a familiar one: I have heard this “two experiences” perspective before so it did not surprise me. By the way, I am an immigrant to the US myself, from a region where I observed significant racism within what many call the “white” community in the US. I have also lived in several other countries, none with the same history of slavery as the US, so I understand why Americans tend to compress… Read more »

Jack Ashworth
Jack Ashworth
3 months ago

I have always enjoyed learning about the history of America. I guess that had something to do with the fact that I was born on the 4th of July. I first became aware of the fact that there are different histories of this country when I took a class in African American history in college. That kind of opened my mind to realize there might be something called “White history”. I grew up in a community dominated by Asians and I don’t remember learning too much about Asian American history either except for the Japanese involvement in WWII. I decided… Read more »

Jack Ashworth
Jack Ashworth
Reply to  Pastor Daryl M. Clarke
2 months ago

That’s an important question. History textbooks for use in public schools are created by people with their own bias’s and the trend has been towards a progressive, secular humanistic viewpoint. The 1619 project is a good example of the rewriting of history with implicit bias’s. Inclusiveness of divergent thought will be required if future historians can meet the challenge.

Highmy Her
Highmy Her
3 months ago

I agree that America’s history does not belong to white people, but it is God’s history. It is not about the history of white people, but the history of God trying to spread and strengthen Christianity because He is working to restore all His children. Unfortunately, humanity in general, even with the influence of religion, fall prey to our fallen nature. Like Satan we try to establish our value by dominating others. If we want to go the opposite way of Satan we need to fight the urge to be “more valuable” than someone else , recognize our unique, unchanging… Read more »

CAROL D POBANZ
CAROL D POBANZ
3 months ago

It seems our one America has multiple cultural experiences AND it also seems that every individual has their own unique experience within their own culture…just confirming the fact that we each have to take responsibility to correct our unique foibles.

David M Eaton
David M Eaton
Reply to  CAROL D POBANZ
3 months ago

I believe that is correct. Within any particular group there will be different experiences, different aspirations, different opinions, different talents and different beliefs. Not all people in the same family, let alone larger groups, share the same religious, political or socio-cultural perspectives.

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