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Don't Allow His-story to Distort Our-story | VOICE
As we enter fully into Black History Month 2019 and join in celebrations acknowledging the history and contributions of Black Americans, it is hard to ignore the many reminders that this year marks 400 years since the first African arrived on the shores of what would become America; but, does it? A recent article in Smithsonian Magazine titled, "The Misguided Focus on 1619 as the Beginning of Slavery in the U.S. Damages Our Understanding of American History," reminds us that the events of 1619, though historical, is an arbitrary marker of the arrival of Blacks in this country planted by those in power as a measure of their history in this land—and, a remarkable distortion of ours. As noted in the Smithsonian article, "1619 is not the best place to begin a meaningful inquiry into the history of African peoples in America." Certainly, placing the marker at 1619 acknowledges the arrival of the purported 20 plus Africans with their European masters in what would eventually become the state