Why does History Need New Heroes?

High school history textbooks throughout the United States tend to highlight the significant individuals who have shaped the historical landscape. Significance, however, is oftentimes based on being a white man in government. What would a high school classroom function like if students could learn about those who are similar to them and inspire them rather than a one-sided version of history?  This is not to say that history needs to be taught solely from the perspective of “forgotten heroes,” because others are imperative in understanding American history. This is to say though that history needs to become more relevant and familiar to students and citizens alike.

People by Gender

People by Race

People by Role

Explore the Case Studies

History Needs New Heroes seeks to reveal who gets presented, or forgotten, as a “hero” in high school American history textbooks. Through close reading and content analysis of three recently published textbooks, this project identifies missing voices.

New Perspectives

The findings of History Needs New Heroes suggests that there needs to be a space where new narratives can emerge so students can find “hidden voices” in their history classrooms. New Perspectives rewrites the narratives of history’s most significant people and writes about those who are often forgotten.