The Texas State Board of Education is set to approve a new history curriculum that, among other things, will pull from hip hop culture to help tell the story of Texas. The new curriculum, crafted by the newly-formed Texas Freedom Network (TFN), will include a section that uses rap music and hip hop to tell the story of Texas on the cusp of the 20th century.
If you’re a Texas high school student, there’s no doubt you learned about the Alamo. If you’re a Texas high school student, you most likely learned about the Battle of the Alamo as well as the famous Alamo escape. If you’re a Texas high school student, you likely learned about the Texas Revolution and the fight for Texas independence from Mexico, and likely learned about the Texas Rangers and the Texas state flag.
The textbook Texas school kids grow up on is only a invention. Let me show you how the history of Texas was created. It’s a place where the land is laid out to benefit the oil companies and the elected officials, not to mention that it’s a place where the children are being taught lies and false history. The regional school districts are owned by the oil and gas companies, so naturally those are the textbooks they use. The best example of this is the book they use in our schools. The book, Our Texas, is so slanted that it says a Confederate soldier was a victim of slavery. They say that the Confederacy and slavery were separate issues. In fact, the Confederacy was made up of slave states, and the so called
A crucial aspect is missing from the story of the heroes who held out in a Spanish mission and founded the Texas Republic: Slavery
Chris Tomlinson and Jason Stanford’s book Forget the Alamo: The Rise and Fall of an American Myth
I learnt a lot about my state’s great past as a child growing up in rural West Texas. The siege of the Alamo, which the Mexican army won but which became the rallying cry for “Texian” forces who went on to defeat Santa Anna’s army at San Jacinto in 1836, was at the heart of that history. We learnt about heroes like William Barret Travis, who famously drew a line in the sand with his sword, encouraging soldiers to either defend the mission church to the death or return to safety—all but one taking the final step. We learned about Davy Crockett, who ran out of ammunition and fought to the death with his rifle as a club, as well as Jim Bowie and his dagger, and so many more martyrs who died swinging. The Texian army’s drive to San Jacinto and triumph was fuelled by the rallying cry “Remember the Alamo!” With Sam Houston as its first President, the Republic of Texas became an independent nation, and March 2 became as significant to most Texans as July 4 is to Americans elsewhere. Unfortunately, according to the three Texas authors of Forget the Alamo, practically all of the history we learnt with pride turns out to be rubbish.
Bryan Burrough, author of acclaimed investigative histories such as the New York Times bestseller Barbarians at the Gate (2009); Chris Tomlinson, columnist for the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News and chronicler of his family’s slave-holding history in his book Tomlinson Hill; and Jason Stanford, political consultant and former communications director for the Democratic National Committee Many popular fallacies regarding Texas history in general, and the Alamo in particular, are debunked by the authors’ substantial evidence. The second half of their book immerses readers in a tangle of intra-Texan debates over whose version of the Alamo is “real” and how best to treat it. To Texans, this is a significant matter—some decry the revisionist impulse represented by this book, while others tackle the subject from their own perspectives and goals. The battle for the Alamo is still going on.
Slavery’s role in igniting demand for independence from Mexico, according to the writers, has been the gravest omission in conventional Texas history. Americans had been migrating into the Mexican territory of East Texas since the early 1800s, bent on growing more cotton, which profitability necessitated more enslaved labor. Slavery was prohibited in Mexico after it gained independence from Spain in 1821. That abolition troubled slave-holding American immigrants, particularly the Texians, who fought for independence in part to ensure their right to enslave others. The Republic of Texas was created as a slave-holding government after 1836.
Since then, the Alamo and the Texas Revolution have sparked a never-ending debate between proponents of opposing narratives, with official Texas history and public feeling favoring the version that depicts heroic Texans dying valiantly. Scholars who have examined the myth in recent decades have found it to be highly erroneous. All of the Latino troops who fought with the Texians at the Alamo and elsewhere are not mentioned in the official history. The battle narrative is false, and the greater Alamo tale has been expunged, including the structure’s origins as a Franciscan mission meant to aid indigenes’ conversion to Christianity. The long conflict between traditionalists and revisionists is centered on, but not limited to, the old mission building, which has been preserved as a holy relic enshrining traditional reading. In response to this viewpoint, a movement has emerged dedicated to rehabilitating the area and building an Alamo museum. The Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Native American and African American groups, conservative Republicans, and others all have their own complaints and lobbying for the as-yet-undecided ends.
Forget the Alamo is a well-written and compelling description of how the Alamo tale has served as an uniting myth of Texas history and the source of a never-ending stream of learned criticism from people who should know better. Fans of Texas history will enjoy this book. — Barbara Finlay contributes on a regular basis from the depths of her home state.
One of the more intriguing recent developments in the world of education has been the rise of the Texas school story. In a recent article on the History News Network, Robert R. Reilly explained the thing about the Texas school story: It’s a complete fiction, yet it’s everywhere. It’s taught in Texas schools, in textbooks, and many believe it to be gospel.. Read more about texas history for kids and let us know what you think.
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