HIST 390 Blog Post #4

This week, I chose the Virginia historical marker. I chose it because they are noticeable with their markers. I like that its purpose is to educate the public about Virginia history and that the lettering makes them hard to miss.

In order to find out more information about my marker, I would use Silencing the Past to help me. For instance, realizing that there are parts of history that are left out, much like the palace when he discusses the history of it. I would use this to understand that markers in Virginia may not tell the entire story of a historical event. Looking at a marker that explains a location’s history in the Civil War will not tell people everything about it, but only what occurred in that specific location.

One other way to find out more information about my marker is to notice that “historical production is expressed through the power to touch, to see, and to feel” (Trouillout 45). We can use our senses to understand history more when using Virginia markers. Being able to see the lettering, symbols, and even the colors used helps indicate the importance of the marker and its historical influence. For instance, noticing the color of text on markers near DWI trails informs us of a place, person, or how significant the marker is to history. It can help us identify the significance so that we understand how it relates to Virginia history.

Another way that we can know more information about the marker is by understanding that everyone has their own version of history. In school, we often grow up learning one side of the story–usually from a white person’s perspective. This is typically true for historical markers. If we can understand whose perspective the marker is coming from, it will help us understand whose story is being told from a historical lens. By doing this, we can get to know other people’s perspectives, too.

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