The Eurocentric Historical Perspective vs. Reality
Public education in New York City depicts a Eurocentric view of the founding of the Americas. It perpetuates a skewed narrative that highlights the financial benefits of colonialism for the oppressors while neglecting the suffering of the oppressed. The result is a society where millions are unaware of the consequences of colonialism. A society where millions are unaware of the multi generational devastation that marginalized communities continue to endure. New York City’s blatant disregard for the genocide and enslavement of the Tainos as well as various West African groups is manifested in the existence of Columbus Circle. It’s status as a landmark reinforces the very narrative that misrepresents the generational suffering of millions.
Movers & Shakers is appalled by the city’s complacency to allow false historical narratives to be delivered to our children. Although we acknowledge the story of Christopher Columbus as a part of history, his name does not need to be glorified through monuments, streets, and institutions. We want the city to mandate a curriculum that clearly outlines the traumatic effects of colonialism and its lingering consequences.
We want every new textbook that the city contracts to contain the following information
A clear statement that the name America comes from Italian Explorer Amerigo Vespucci after Martin Waldseemuller published it in his book on cosmography and geography
An accurate depiction of the history of the Taino and Arawak peoples. Including but not limited to:
An accurate account that chronicles Spain’s conquest of Arawak and Taino islands and the resistance that the conquistadores met.
An analysis of the diseases that were introduced to the Americas from Europe
Accounts of Columbus’ cruel practices as Governor of Hispaniola
Details on Columbus’ imprisonment by the Spanish Crown
An account of the number of lives that were lost within one hundred years of Columbus first touching down
An overview of the history of the French and Spanish on the island of Hispaniola
A section on the Haitian Revolution and Hispaniola’s liberation from colonial rule in 1804.