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Response to Steinberg Essay and Reflection

So I really enjoy how a lot of our previous questions in class and on the blog about Kindred were almost all addressed in this critical essay, at least all of mine were, and I had A LOT.  My favorite part of the entire essay is in the middle of the discussion about masking identities where Steinberg writes, ” the mask of historical distance, the illusion of distance, can peel away to disclose the clichéd ‘horrors of history’ as the present reality” and that “Dana’s time travels have given her a unique historical awareness.”  This particularly resonates with what I think about recovering the history of slavery and is quite symbolic of what we are dealing with as a class.  Steinberg’s claims about interchanging the past with the present and how there is sometimes a blur between them in Kindred seems symbolic with our efforts of achieving a sense of awareness for ourselves and others that our past and our history are not mutually exclusive from our present day as far as issues and things like that go.  They share agency and are hardly treated as such.  A few classes back we got on the subject that was kind of trying to address why are we doing what we are doing as a class? What is the reason behind our efforts and our research?  I think I may have realized mine, and it is to become more self-aware of where I fit in the world I live in today as it relates to the world that preceded me as it has affected today.  By maintaining a consciousness about why we are where we are today we can better begin to resolve some of the long-term negative effects that have been produced by Texas Slavery or Slavery in general for that matter.  This can apply to many other types of history too I feel.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. March 29, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    Hey Taylor! I absolutely agree with your statements about confusion as to why we began these projects and what exactly WE can do more so than others. I guess it took me a while to realize that I still have a place in the history of Texas slavery even though I am not from Texas and I was never enslaved. The way Dana tied herself to her ancestors so closely just made me realize that although I was never a slave, I may have had family members a long time ago who enslaved others, and there have been times in my life that I have oppressed others without realizing. I think oppression is a part of our society, which is sad, but true. Because we are taught to be the best, make the best, and have the best from a young age, I think it is natural for people to begin trying to keep others down from the time they are very young. The question is…how do we fix this without decreasing the drive to succeed? So, my ultimate point is that I think education and awareness, like you pointed out, are the most important ways we can reverse these long-term negative effects.

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