From a young age, we’re categorized. We become known as Arab or Latino, Jewish or Muslim, Black or Indigenous. And those ideas don’t come from nowhere — every so often we literally check off boxes that tell the federal government who we are.
But there’s a problem with this process in America. Many Americans — particularly many African Americans —don’t know their histories because they were never properly recorded or intentionally destroyed.
A new book focuses on the intersectional identities many African Americans hold, and more broadly explores the dynamic histories that Americans often contain in general.
“I really don’t want us to give up on our vision for America — that America can be as beautifully complex as it wants to be.” – Caleb Gayle, author
Listen: The story of Black Creeks and how it’s representative of America.
Caleb Gayle is the author of “We Refuse to Forget: A True Story of Black Creeks, American Identity, and Power.” He says it’s good to dive deeper into our own stories because it can draw out complicated aspects of American history and what the country truly looks like today.
“I really don’t want us to give up on our vision for America — that America can be as beautifully complex as it wants to be, but it will demand of us that we hold onto these stories that we’ve been told,” Gayle says. “Even sometimes the ones that seem so farfetched, like I thought they were when I first moved to Oklahoma.”