This paper explores the benefits and value of college students’ conducting critical family history (CFH) projects, which may serve as curricular material to expand students’ understanding of complex aspects of history and immigration. This article unpacks how one student came to see herself and others from a deeper perspective, particularly through the lens of someone who chose to continue digging into her enslaved ancestors’ roots. Using narrative inquiry, a college instructor and former student collaboratively reflect on the lessons learned from using a CFH project in a college-level class primarily for preservice teachers. A unique aspect of this paper is that it gives voice to a former student in the class, which provides a way of seeing the complexities and dehumanizing components of the lives of enslaved Africans in the U.S.—often sanitized out of history books. In addition, a university librarian suggests approaches to genealogical research, by focusing more on the lived experiences of ancestors that go beyond dates and locations. The perspectives from both a former student and the college instructor add multiple dimensions on lessons learned from a critical family history project, which uses students’ family histories as funds of knowledge as the primary curriculum.
Mokuria, Vicki; Williams, Alexia; and Page, William, "There Has Been No Remorse over It: A Narrative Inquiry Exploring Enslaved Ancestral Roots through a Critical Family History Project" (2020). Faculty Publications. 8.
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