So. I think I’ve found a way to try and do something other than saying the same thing over and over and over and over. Interestingly enough, it’s something that makes my project Anthropological rather than Historical. So, in short, I feel silly not having thought of it before.
Thus far much of my research has entailed, for lack of a better word, “straight history.” What households employed enslaved Africans where, where Caribbean rum was distilled locally, etc. As mentioned in an earlier post that research all seemed to lead to similar conclusions; New England was complicit in the institution of slavery. It’s an important conclusion, but it started not to feel all that revolutionary. It started to feel like I wasn’t contributing anything to the discussion. I started to feel, in the words of my uncle, like a “historian.” Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it’s not my discipline.
My father then pointed out that the overarching goal of my project involves an element of education. Namely, how is this history addressed or not addressed? My mother then suggested looking at school curricula. Perhaps I could interview students who had gone to school around here, or history teachers at local high schools and colleges?
Their advice was so pertinent I kicked myself for not having thought of it myself. Or, rather, losing sight of the greater arc of my project. I ended up calling a former high school history chair, who pointed me in the direction of local teachers who might have a better idea of what the history curricula is as it stands. She also informed me that, when she last taught American and local colonial history, the Triangle Trade was “not anything we did in depth.” She remembered a pull-down map explaining the “Triangle traffic” in geographic terms and a link to “England’s involvement.” I suspect that this also served to exonerate the Americas, particularly the Anglo-American ones.
So far this is an exciting turn of events and I look forward to exploring it in, well, greater depth. Stay tuned. I welcome any and all suggestions, as per normal.