Ever since immigrating to the United States, I’ve sat in my history classes and was taught stories I couldn’t relate to. I also noticed that these stories did not reflect my classmates. What did homogeneous Anglo-Saxon men have to do with students who were vibrant, colorful and multi-faceted?
As students, we are lost in the American soup and we don’t have hope for a culture that accepts those who arrive to bring new rations to this great stew. In this big cauldron, tensions have brewed ten-times fold. Society has never been so divided. People are realizing that this collective American history has been thrust on various marginalized groups and has constantly suffocated their interests.
I have spoken to many Miami Dade College students and many think that the United States will never be for them. With MDC becoming one of the number one colleges that graduates minority groups, the culture on campus is far from what textbooks teach. We each have diverse backgrounds and cultures that take on a life of their own within the Miami collective. However, we are taught to be uniform and basic and we are pushed to excel in an environment that requires more than those two elements.
What a bland soup these students have been forced to eat.
Nonetheless, from this same pot has emerged the new majority. According to the New Census Bureau Report, people of color are set to make up more than 56 percent of the American population by the year 2060. The ingredients in this new American soup will become more representative of the people who eat it. How can we prepare this stew for success in the future?
We must tell a new history that incorporates and adequately represents the stories of whom will create this new America. In Literature classes, instead of reading Shakespeare, students should read the works of Gabriel García Márquez. In music classes, Beethoven was an excellent composer but so was Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges.
I am not arguing that the history that made the United States become the world hegemon that it is today should be neglected. In fact, this history is equally as rich and vibrant as the parts that make up America. However, to adapt to the ever-changing demographics of a great nation, the changes, accomplishments and roots of these people should be documented and taught in the years that follow.
The soup may seem bland today, but I know it will be tasty in the future. Minorities will become a majority, which will level out the playing field. Will racial injustices stop and economic inequality be done away with? No.
However, the power will lie in the hands of what this new population does.
I am ready for this new majority and I hope that you are too. What new ingredients will you bring to this scrumptious stew?