The Truths We Find In Storytelling

The Truths We Find In Storytelling

When we tell our stories, it takes us into the truths of what people care most deeply about.
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I've always loved history. I mean contemporary history. Learning about the people and events that changed and shaped our nation has always been fascinating to me and I appreciate the professionals who work tirelessly to provide this information to students and the public at large.

The recent events involving actions of police brutality and excessive force have added fuel to the Black Lives Matter movement and intellectual discussions around race relations in the United States. Some offer rebuttals of All Lives Matter or denounce all arguments of black lives matter, calling it a terrorist group or meaningless.

What I have come to understand is that these responses are really not reactions to the specific recent shootings of unarmed black men. They are responses to a history of abuse from law enforcement toward black and/or poor citizens of this country. I know this because the power of storytelling is strong enough for me to believe it. It is more powerful than any textbook account I have ever read.

"Baltimore '68: Riots and Rebirth in an American City," is a collection of essays and first-hand accounts that examine and expose race relations in Baltimore shortly before and shortly after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Developed and produced by a progressive group of historians, college professors, and editors and writers, the book reopens old wounds of civic disorder that wracked our nations cities (Gillette, Foreword). The mission of the work was not to bestow guilt or shame on any particular group; it is to acknowledge civic memory from the citizens who remember what is most important to them and to the emotional fabric of their own families and neighbors (Price, Epilogue).

History as we learn it in an academic setting is mainly constructed from public memory. This is problematic because public memory is overly embellished by commemoration. It is grandly constructed; sought to foster patriotism, social order, and public discipline. It seeks social control (Price, Epilogue). Public memory is always in a state of flux; it is negotiated and contested, often a extension of the conflicts out of which it arises (Price, Epilogue).

When we consider personal accounts and stories handed down from generation to generation, we hear the voices of those from the past, especially those who have been marginalized. Hearing a story from a 70 year old white, Catholic man's upbringing in Baltimore offers a kind of insight that hits home for many. Listening to his accounts of living in a racially segregated neighborhood and only interacting with blacks when they delivered milk to his home; and how his parents gave strict orders to bypass the black streets when walking to a destination; or how he didn't understand why black students were upset about MLK's assassination are anecdotes that create tension for anyone listening. It sticks and offers a contextual perspective that historians or economists cannot achieve.

We know about race relations. We know about slavery and segregation and the muddied waters of everything post Civil Rights Movement. But when we tell our stories, it takes us deeply in to the realm of community emotions and into the truths of what people care most deeply about (Price, Epilogue).

For young people, being vocal is simple, and actually encouraged. We take to social media, letting the world know our opinions, feelings, thoughts. Our stories can go viral in seconds. But what about the stories that came before us? The ones that were told in secrecy and stayed within familial, close communities. Listen to these. Ask your elders difficult questions. Their answers will provide the sense of understanding and truth our society is missing.

Cover Image Credit: muslimobserver

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A Letter To My Go-To Aunt

Happiness is having the best aunt in the world.
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I know I don't say it enough, so let me start off by saying thank you.

You'll never understand how incredibly blessed I am to have you in my life. You'll also never understand how special you are to me and how much I love you.

I can't thank you enough for countless days and nights at your house venting, and never being too busy when I need you. Thank you for the shopping days and always helping me find the best deals on the cutest clothes. For all the appointments I didn't want to go to by myself. Thank you for making two prom days and a graduation party days I could never forget. Thank you for being overprotective when it comes to the men in my life.

Most importantly, thank you for being my support system throughout the numerous highs and lows my life has brought me. Thank you for being honest even when it isn't what I want to hear. Thank you for always keeping my feet on the ground and keeping me sane when I feel like freaking out. Thank you for always supporting whatever dream I choose to chase that day. Thank you for being a second mom. Thank you for bringing me into your family and treating me like one of your own, for making me feel special because you do not have an obligation to spend time with me.

You've been my hero and role model from the time you came into my life. You don't know how to say no when family comes to you for help. You're understanding, kind, fun, full of life and you have the biggest heart. However, you're honest and strong and sometimes a little intimidating. No matter what will always have a special place in my heart.

There is no possible way to ever thank you for every thing you have done for me and will continue to do for me. Thank you for being you.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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15 Thing Only Early 2000's Kids Will Understand

"Get connected for free, with education connection"

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This is it early 2000's babies, a compilation finally made for you. This list is loaded with things that will make you swoon with nostalgia.

1. Not being accepted by the late 90's kids.

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Contrary to what one may think, late 90's and early 00's kids had the same childhood, but whenever a 00's kid says they remember something on an "only 90's kids will understand" post they are ridiculed.

2. Fortune tellers.

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Every day in elementary school you would whip one of these bad boys out of your desk, and proceed to tell all of your classmates what lifestyle they were going to live and who they were going to marry.

3.Bunnicula

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You could never read this book past 8 o'clock at night out of fear that your beloved pet rabbit would come after you.

4. Silly bands.

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You vividly remember begging your parents to buy you $10 worth of cheap rubber bands that vaguely resembles the shape of an everyday object.

5. Parachutes.

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The joy and excitement that washed over you whenever you saw the gym teacher pull out the huge rainbow parachute. The adrenaline that pumped through your veins whenever your gym teacher tells you the pull the chute under you and sit to make a huge "fort".

6. Putty Erasers

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You always bought one whenever there was a school store.

7. iPod shuffle.

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The smallest, least technological iPpd apple has made, made you the coolest kid at the bus stop.

8. "Education Connection"

You knew EVERY wood to the "Education Connection" commercials. Every. Single.Word.

9. " The Naked Brothers Band"

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The "Naked Brothers Band" had a short run on Nickelodeon and wrote some absolute bangers including, "Crazy Car' and "I Don't Wanna Go To School"

10. Dance Dance Revolution

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This one video game caused so many sibling, friend, and parent rivalries. This is also where you learned all of your super sick dance moves.

11. Tamagotchi

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Going to school with fear of your Tamagotchi dying while you were away was your biggest worry.

12. Gym Scooters

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You, or somebody you know most likely broke or jammed their finger on one of these bad boys, but it was worth it.

13. Scholastic book fairs

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Begging your parents for money to buy a new book, and then actually spending it on pens, pencils, erasers, and posters.

14.Go-Gurt

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Who knew that putting yogurt in a plastic tube made it taste so much better?

15. Slap Bracelets

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Your school probably banned these for being "too dangerous".

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