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Race and History Forum

Oral History...Doomed?

I'm a student doing a school project on the history Great Zimbabwe. I've watched TIME LIFE'S Video, Africa: A History Denied. One part was talking about how the ancient Zimbabweans used oral traditions to pass down their history, and eventually the history started getting changed and now they can't even remember the names of their ancestors and kings. Then white people decided to make up a whole other history to prove that they were in Zimbabwe first. Although this fake history persisted for centuries, archaelogists have recently found that Great Zimbabwe was founded by blacks, before the whites ever got there. I need to come up with a discussion about this for class tomorrow. I want to talk about oral history, and discuss whether there was any way to prevent losing Zimbabwe's real history. Someone in the video said: "Every society selects what they want to remember."
My other question is, after looking at this video about Africa, is there any way to prevent our history from being distorted? What about language? There are words that we speak in English today that meant totally different things a thousand years ago. How can we ever understand what people thought years ago, if we don't even understand their language, or what certain words meant to them? How will people thousands of years from now understand us? Does it matter?
Please reply if you have any ideas, I need this for tomorrow!

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