What Does It Mean to Be an American Facing History?

Being an American is more than just living in the United States of America. It’s a sense of national pride and identity that comes with being part of a unique and diverse culture. However, being an American also means facing the country’s complex history, both the good and the bad.

What is American History?

American history is a long and complicated story that spans centuries. It includes stories of triumph and progress alongside tales of oppression and discrimination. From the arrival of European colonizers to the Civil War to the civil rights movement, American history has shaped the country into what it is today.

Why Is It Important to Face History?

It’s important to face American history because it helps us understand where we come from and how our actions impact others. By acknowledging past mistakes, we can learn from them and move forward as a more just society. Additionally, learning about American history allows us to appreciate the struggles and achievements of those who came before us.

What Are Some Examples of Facing History?

One example of facing American history is acknowledging how slavery played a significant role in building many institutions in America, including universities, banks, and insurance companies. Another example would be recognizing how Native Americans were systematically removed from their land and forced onto reservations.

The Importance of Education

Education plays a crucial role in understanding America’s complex history. It provides people with the knowledge they need to recognize past injustices and work towards creating a better future. By teaching children about diverse cultures and historical events like slavery or internment camps for Japanese Americans during World War II, they can gain empathy for others while learning valuable lessons about America’s past.

The Role of Media

Media also plays a significant role in facing American history by bringing attention to issues that need addressing. Documentaries like “13th” or “When They See Us” highlight the struggles of Black Americans and the justice system’s biases against them. These films help to educate viewers about systemic racism while also offering a call to action.


Being an American means facing our country’s complex history, both the good and the bad. It’s essential to acknowledge past injustices so that we can learn from them and work towards creating a better future for all Americans. By educating ourselves and using media to bring attention to issues that need addressing, we can become more informed citizens and work towards creating a more just society.