In the American context, asserting the right to be is part of the very “constitution” of national identity. We are presumably a revolutionary people.
The irony, of course, is that a revolution that fails or is successful by “the other side” is a crime–treason, terrorism, etc.
In the discussion of modern history–especially in courses on Western civilization–the American Revolution and U.S. Civil War are compared to that of European powers. But consider this British critique of the Declaration of Independence.
What if we were to shift the terms of comparison beyond modern conceptions of humanity (gendered and racialized, as Gomez shows us) and juxtapose the assertions most familiar to us with those we are introduced to in our study of the African Diaspora?
I want you to choose three revolts from the African Diaspora and compare them to American mythologies about the American Revolution or Civil War. How are they different and how are they similar(a couple of sentences, bullet points each)?
When you are done, I want you to consider what these comparisons tell you about what it means to be fully human in the modern world (three-four sentences at least).