Mr Younge wants to distinguish "history" from "mythology." But the traces of myth can be found throughout his text.
Younge is correct that a historical understanding requires an understanding of complexity and contradiction. Yes, the Europeans who settled in the Americas brought both constitutional democracy and the mass murder of natives. Yes, white history in America ought to include not only Abe LIncoln but also Mr. Blake and the accusers of Emmett Till.
And (this is the part Mr. Younge leaves aside) African history ought to deal with both the suffering of the Middle Passage and the participation of Africans in the slave trade of their own people.
And black history in America ought to include not only Martin LUther King Jr. but also AL Sharpton and Tawana Brawley and everyone involved in the Duke lacrosse 'rape' scandal.
If, that is, it's really history we want, and not just a new mythology.
Feb 27 2007 - 2:18am