Throughout the legacy of America’s educational system, there is no doubt history classes have had biased tone to them, whether it’s only learning about white American history, or minorities only get represented when they are described as being submissive to Europeans. It’s safe to say history courses tend to cater more toward the white perspective.
The new Latin America class, taught by Ahzha McFadden, who teaches world studies and Modern Euro, is looking to change. McFadden stated, “This class will be taught from a Latin American perspective which will be new to most students.” Unlike many other classes below the twelfth grade, this class will not only focus on another culture and race but it will also be taught from the perspective of Latin America. This means that the class course will not be influenced by the bias of White America and its flawed courses and textbooks. Regarding her motivation to create the new class, McFadden stated, “This class is important because whether we know it and accept it or not, the US is a Latin American country. We have a large population of Spanish speakers- native and not- in this country and most importantly, historically California was part of Mexico. It is important that we who are living here now honor this history.” California was once a territory of Mexico before the U.S decided to take it and many fled but some stayed and practiced their traditions because it was there home. One of McFadden’s reasons to why the class is important is to in her words was “ In our current political situation, immigration has become a very divisive issue as well as an issue that is commonly misunderstood. People from Latin America are talked about in ways that are not true or helpful, and the average person and even most politicians do not have basic knowledge about the history, culture, and current situations in Latin America.”
McFadden said, “This class will be unique in that it will bring people of different backgrounds together” McFadden continued by saying, “Latin America is an incredibly diverse region, and this class will explore the cultures, history, and identity of the region.” The class will be a place where people of different backgrounds and opinions will meet and learn together, she stated that Latin America is a diverse area and that the class will explore stuff like its history and culture.
Mcfadden also went on to describe some of the material that she will be covering in the class. She described that the class will “look at driving factors behind immigration both within Latin America and from Latin America. For this we will take a look at cartels and the drug trade and the history behind this violence.” It is no secret that drug cartels have been playing a huge role in the country of Mexico, there major influence reaches to heights of total control in some of areas of Mexico due to there major amounts of money and fire power. McFadden will cover some of the history pertaining to the effects the cartel had on Mexico. She also wrote, “We will also talk with many people who have been affected by different issues, and practice our interview skills” McFadden will help her students with interviewing skills by letting them ask question to real people affected by issues that they will be covering in class.
Lastly when asked about why students should consider the class for a part of their course load, McFadden said, “to learn more about their own history and culture. I know many Latino/a students who have signed up for this class because they want a class that is fully devoted to their history and culture.” Latino or not, this class will have much to offer students of all backgrounds in regards to cultural understanding of Latin America.