Discussion Board #3- post due by

Sat 11:59 p.m., reply by Sunday

These questions are about the documentary “The Story We Tell” from the series “Race: The
Power of Illusion.”

View the first 37 minutes of the documentary, “The Story We Tell.”

Links to an external site.

Be sure you watch “Episode 2”. Please watch the first 37 minutes or so.


1) In the film, historian James Horton points out that colonial white Americans invented the story
that “there’s something different about ‘those’ people” in order to rationalize believing in the
contradictory ideas of equality and slavery at the same time. Likewise, historian Reginald
Horsman shows how the explanation continued to be used to resolve other dilemmas: “This
successful republic is not destroying Indians just for the love of it, they’re not enslaving Blacks
because they are selfish, they’re not overrunning Mexican lands because they are avaricious.
This is part of some great inevitability… of the way races are constituted.” What stories of
difference are used to mask or cover up oppression today? Why do we need to tell
ourselves these kinds of stories?


2) Historian Matthew P. Guterl observes, “Most Americans believed that race was one of the
most important parts of national life; that race mattered because it guaranteed this country a
[glorious] future in the history of the world.” While few would admit it today, do you think the
definition of progress is still tied to being white? Can you think of historical or current
instances in which those who are not defined as white are blamed for American
weakness or problems?


3) How did the issue of race change over time for the Cherokees and other tribes? For example,
how and why did things change?

Reply to one student’s post with insightful and thoughtful commentary of roughly 60 to 80 words.

Remember, you must post first, then you will see your peers’ posts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *