In order to illuminate colorblindness in the AP U.S. History course, I specify Native American studies activities for educators and teachers that can be included in their classrooms throughout the school year or after the AP exam in May. Students will read primary sources, short stories and poetry of Native Americans to provide a new narrative of Indigenous people. Also, two films are examined to offer a more complex account of Native American history and culture. Teachers can use all of the materials specified to illustrate legitimized racism in America and challenge scholars to confront their own colorblindness.
There is little question that the AP course is structured around a historical narrative of the political, social, economic and cultural structures that built this country. It lacks a critical eye on the impact of a white-power structure and colonial settler account that committed genocide against Indigenous peoples for over 300 years.
Despite the clear omission, it is the role of the educator to enlighten students. The AP exam always occurs during the first week of May, and afterwards, there is plenty of time to examine the role of Native Americans in history. For the past four years, I have taught a unit on the Indian Wars from 1865-1890 in order to fill a massive hole in the AP curriculum. I spend a month studying Native American tribes on the Great Plains, including history, art and culture. Every educator who wants to open the curtain of colorblindness and knock down the door of White Fragility—a political, cultural, social and educational setting that protects white people from race-based stress and offers racial comfort—should embrace a unit to discredit the colonial settler history that dominates the curriculum. My unit provides needed resources and activities for educators to incorporate a more diverse prospectus in their AP U.S. History courses.
Indigenous people have strived and flourished in spite of colonialism and genocide. My personal goal is to help educators expand their knowledge of the history of Native Americans, legitimized racism and CRT in order to increase students understanding and comprehension of colorblindness and its impact on American society today.