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date: 16 December 2018

Abstract and Keywords

Public historical spaces hold a powerful role in the teaching of a regional and national heritage curriculum. Those public sites, markers, museums, and monuments provide the narrative from which citizens conceptualize the past and they comprise a curriculum of American history. However, the calculated and intentional omission of the histories and identities of marginalized and oppressed people creates an unequal, ahistorical void that is filled by the hegemonic normality of the White supremacist narrative, creating a curriculum of White supremacy. Using research of historical understanding, racialized historical understanding, historical understanding in museums and public spaces, and the concept of erasure in history, this chapter investigates the important role public spaces play in presenting a holistic and complete historical narrative that goes beyond the additive models of multiculturalism and preserves the culture and heritage of all peoples.

Keywords: Public history, museum curation, historical erasure, racialized historical understanding, historic sites, historic museums, White supremacy

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