"There is no such thing as was, only is" (Faulkner): The Haunting Effects of History in 'Beloved' and 'Tracks' College

Written in 1812, the last line of each verse of the Star Spangled Banner, which later became the National Anthem for the United States of America in 1931, reads “O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!” (Francis Scott Key) It could be argued that the United States of America was not home to the free until after December 1865 when the abolishment of slavery was added to the United States Constitution. Up until then, African Americans were bought and sold as slaves and had no freedom until the Confederate Army were defeated in the American Civil War. Similarly, the Native American Indians, who were the original inhabitants of the land that became the United States of America, had their freedom taken away when many tribes were unable to pay the land fees that the government enforced upon them after the Dawes Act of 1887, causing many to lose their reservations and disperse to other areas, often splitting tribes up. Both histories of these races continue to haunt the United States of America as many descendants of those that suffered still carry the stories with them through the generations. To ensure that these atrocities are not forgotten, writers use the power of literature to tell these stories as a way of...

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