Chicago Humanities Festival: Sherman Alexie and the Favorite Author

During his talk, Sherman Alexie spoke about the average ‘favorite author’. He said that when people name their favorite authors, they are more often than not, white males. At first it sounded like another statistic that I would forget before I left the auditorium. However, on my way home I began thinking about the material that I was given in school. It then occurred to me that someone had to write our textbooks and all of the articles we’ve ever read, videos we’ve ever watched for class. What were the chances that they, too, were written by white males. The problem with history being rewritten and retaught by only one race/gender is the severe bias that people start to recognize as factual history. The other problem is that the stories from people who are not white men are forgotten about and not passed on. Lastly, history becomes tainted with the opinions of the writers. It is bound to happen with any race, however, white men have prevailed in literature. This ongoing cycle has not broken at all in the past couple of centuries, and it really has to change, before some of the most important stories of history are forgotten.

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