So today I began reading some of the textbooks used by Compton Unified School District (which services parts of Carson) and Los Angeles Unified School District (which services Gardena), K-12. I was looking primarily at Social Studies and HIstory textbooks, looking for the treatment of Hawaiian history and how much they included, and whether or not Hawaiian cultural heritage was addressed at all.
What I came up with is that I am home schooling our children. There were three textbooks that specifically addressed the annexation of Hawaiʻi and here is the info I came up with for them in order of grade level. I am hoping that when I read others they will do a more through job in addressing our 50th state.
Early United States. Orlando: Harcourt Brace & Company, 2000. ISBN: 0-15-309788-4
- Grade 5, CUSD
Unit 4: The American Revolution Chap. 8: “History” Blurb – 1775-1783: In Hawaii, whaling ships from all over the world were stopping for supplies. (316)
Commentary: I appreciate the fact that the book recognized the existence of Hawai’i before American Missionaries arrived since in most textbooks, that is where Hawai’i's history begins – rather than the 100AD when they were said to have migrated to the islands.
Davidson, James W. and Stoff, Michael B. 2006. America: History of Our Nation, Independence Through 1914. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc. ISBN: 0-13-133381-X
- Grade 8, LAUSD
Unit 6: An Age of Industry (West Transformed 1860-1896, Industry & Urban Growth 1865-1915, Political Reform and the Progressive Era 1870-1920, U.S. Looks Overseas 1853-1915, Ch. 16 Sec. 1: Eyes on the Pacific p. 551 -
Commentary: Promotes stereotypes: “The islands have great natural beauty, sunshine, beaches, and rolling surf. But beauty was secondary”. “The first people to settle Hawaii were Polynesians, who arrived by canoe around the 600s”. Briefest description ever regarding Hawai’i and it’s annexation, BUT language implies that it was NOT okay for American planters to overthrow and that Hawai’i had a right to its own monarchy. Additionally, in teacher’s footnote, has background regarding the Clinton Apology in 1993
Creating America: a history of the US, Beginnings through World War I. Evanston: McDougal Little Inc, 2006. ISBN: 978-0-618-55951-0
- Grade 8, LAUSD
Unit 7: Modern America Emerges Ch. 23 Sec. 1 “The Annexation of HI” – P. 661:
Commentary: Ignores King David Kalakaua’s forced signing of Bayonet Constitution (and by forced I mean guns actually held to his head) – uses very anti-monarchy language “Believing that planters has too much influence, she [Queen Liliuokalani] wanted to limit their power…American planters in HI were upset by these threats [as if the threats were unwarranted from an LA Gang]…they staged a revolt [in many textbooks, it is actually the Hawaiians who tried to stage a revolt after Liliuokalani was imprisoned, although many ethnocentric textbooks do call Dole's act a revolt]. With the help of the U.S. Marines, they overthrew the Queen and set up their own government. They then asked to be annexed by the U.S.”…etc. Book also has Quick bio on Queen Liliuokalani but doesn’t even mention her imprisonment and focuses more on her western attributes similar to taming of a savage types of literature.