I’ve been in school for almost 20 years. I’ve studied history for probably a fifth of that time. At the very least, I should have a firm grasp on my own country’s, if not the world’s, history. And yet I’ve been told so little.
Not to worry, I can tell you about the World Wars and who the “bad guys” were. I can tell you about the fall of the Berlin Wall and how the Civil War was fought over slavery. I can tell you about Betsy Ross and the pilgrims. But what I can not tell you about is the omitted history — the history that makes a difference.
The years spent in the classroom sitting in painful plastic chairs never prepared me for the truth I would uncover outside its walls.
My lengthy American history books somehow omitted the chapters on American imperialism. I never learned about America’s occupation of Haiti or its invasion of the peaceful Philippines. Nor was I taught about the 1928 CIA overthrow of the democratic Iranian government. Likewise, my European history lessons failed to mention the fait of the Aborigines or King Leopold’s holocaust in the Congo.
But King Charlemagne, I can tell you about.