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.