The Challenging History collaborative represents a wide diversity of St. Louis-area professionals. We hail from local universities, non-profits, national parks, museums, and civic organizations. Our common interest is helping correct the historical record as it relates to many of America’s marginalized communities, including African Americans, women, Native Americans, immigrants, and others.
You’re welcome to explore our mission, our resources, and our partner groups through these pages. We hope you’ll visit this site frequently to take advantage of our numerous history resources for teachers, students, and others. You’ll also find listings of local events and lectures that address challenging history topics, as well as activities to help you explore St. Louis’ historic sites.
Please feel free to contact us with suggestions for additional relevant events and resources you’d like us to post. Together, we can combat ignorance and help all of us view our collective past through a more balanced, compassionate lens.
Why Challenge History?
It’s hard to believe, but even in a literate nation like the United States, an alarming number of citizens have a poor understanding of history. Many don’t believe the Civil War was fought over slavery, don’t know about women’s struggles to achieve the vote, or never learned how ruthlessly Native Americans were expelled from their land. Many fail to recognize or understand the lasting legacies of our history and how they relate to the struggles of today.
This is the motivation behind Challenging History: A St. Louis Collaborative. We are committed to challenging and correcting many of the incomplete and over-simplified histories we were all taught in school, especially those related to the St. Louis area. We also acknowledge that giving voice to difficult episodes from our past can often challenge us and make us uncomfortable. We want to empower students, professionals, and the general public to question traditional narratives and search for the truth.
Educators, historians, and others throughout the country are working on many fronts to correct Americans’ spotty understanding of the past. In the St. Louis area, this effort has taken the form of this new collaboration between local academic institutions and the region’s national parks, historic sites, museums, and other public sites. Using the powerful tool of place-based learning, these partners are helping students, teachers, and individuals broaden their understanding of our region’s past.