In California, 2022 brings new requirements for ethnic studies at the community college and high school levels. It could become a model for schools around the country. It's too late for one Oakland student who has since graduated and gone to Harvard. But even there, Eleanor V.Wikstrom has found learning about her Filipino history has not been easy. There are no Tagalog or Pilipino language classes taught there. And Filipino American history is an afterthought, despite the role the U.S. played in the colonization of the country. In her recent essay in the Harvard Crimson, Wikstrom wrote about the part Harvard played in the Philippines. She went deep into the stacks at the Pusey Library and uncovered some of the open secrets about how Harvard and American higher ed elites played a role in giving Filipinos not only English, but their own history in a textbook written from a white academic perspective. Wikstrom's journey of discovery reminded me of my own experience 40 years ago as a young Filipino American at Harvard, trying to put together the history we were never meant to see.
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See Eleanor Wikstrom's article in the Harvard Crimson.