As are all things in life, history also needs to look through a different lens of diversity. This is not to be at the expense of the "established history." I affectionately refer to traditional historical accounts as "DWDs" or "Dead White Dudes." As the social justice movements keep racial injustice at the forefront of the cultural conversation, storytelling needs to focus on the positive and negative representation of other sub-branches of history. History that goes beyond framing minority experiences as underdog tales offers lessons for historians on how to rethink their inclusivity ambitions.
The ability to build diverse and collective historical accounts may be the most critical educational skill of the decade. We need to embrace differences and equip people to learn about their past better. Unfortunately, the standard way of viewing diversity and inclusion historically often falls short. The need for historians that can adopt different perspectives has never been greater. Plus, tapping into a wide array of people's stories and events will become more critical as the world becomes more complex and the pace of just about everything accelerates.
When we dig beneath the surface and get to what matters most to people, we can find common ground with those who, on the surface, would appear to be quite different; Not everyone sees things the same way—and that's a good thing. As historians, we need to appreciate and leverage these different perspectives to achieve our goals of a complete account of history.
7:33 Sojourner Truth
20:57 Commodore Perry
Matthew C. Perry
Ryan Lancaster wears many hats. Dive into his website to learn about history, sports, and more!