It always struck me while traveling in Ireland in the 70s–north & south–how well the Irish knew their history, how important it was to their understanding of themselves & their resistance to British rule & occupation. You see the same thing with Kashmiris because history matters in understanding who we are, where we came from, who we want to be & where we want to go. That’s one of the reasons Native Americans, Blacks, & Latinos in the US are systematically excluded from the curriculum all the way from first grade to university. It’s as if they played no role at all in American or human history, except perhaps as slaves. That’s the reason that Native American, Black, & Latino studies departments emerged after the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. Those new curriculums were part of reclaiming their history, including their monumental achievements to human civilization across the planet. For generations, white supremacists had gotten away with the monstrous lie that they had no history worth knowing, made no contributions to human society worth mentioning, were incapable of invention or scholarship, & were little more than ‘mud people’.
History matters. Not just to the oppressed but to those who want to understand the origins of inequality, white & male supremacy, nationalism, social hatreds of every kind in order that humanity can overcome them & learn to live in peace with each other as is our calling as human beings.