Summary Of Who Own History By Eric Foner

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In the reading, Who Owns History? , by Eric Foner, the preface, made up of primarily James Baldwin’s thoughts, creates an argument about the passage of history, and in particular, who has claim to such at any given time. The question of ownership over what is essentially just memories, relates to how we learn, and grow, as well as shapes our culture. By having ownership over history, the particular group of people are able to have most influence over what parts of history are most important as well as the actual way we study history. These elements may seem trivial but they are exactly how we, as youth, are able to grow with and around our culture. History belongs to everyone, the originators of prominent events, those who pass it on to remember it, and those who continue to pass the information long after those in play have passed. With respect to these roles, it is the youth who primarily own history at any given time; they have an interest in a topic, then study to become well versed in it, then they teach it to the next youth. It is their interpretations that influence the popularity and importance that society finds in that theme of history. …show more content…

By encouraging this mindset, the youth are able to build off of each other’s enthusiasm for a common topic, and gradually change the focus of daily history, as Baldwin says, “History always has been and always will be regularly rewritten, in response to new questions, new information, new methodologies, and new political, social, and cultural imperatives” (Baldwin

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