Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A forgotten narrative from our (anti) colonial past

Before Lexington and Concord, there was Worcester, where in 1774 militia from 37 surrounding towns seized control of the county court in defiance of the British, who had revoked the Massachusetts charter, and by extension, the authority of individual town meetings, in retribution for the Boston Tea Party. What citizens in Worcester did was quickly copied in other Massachusetts shire towns, except in Boston, where British troops guarded the courthouse.

In this TEDx talk, historian Ray Raphael asks why this early story isn't better known and asks who decides which stories are told. If we, the people, are the stewards of our own history, are we too focused on the narratives that come from established authors (Emerson, Longfellow), featuring individual and heroic leaders (Paul Revere on his midnight ride), blood and thunder (the shot heard round the world), and Davids overcoming Goliaths? What stories have we missed? What kinds of resistance might they inspire?

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