1. I do agree with what Winona and Priya state, that the concept of race has had a terrible impact on the United States. The idea of the different races has caused innumerable conflicts in this country. Using skin color to give people a label is an extremely harmful act. However, I do wish that they made this statement about the rest of the world as well. Racial conflicts have been a driving force in Africa, Europe, and Asia as well. The ideal of race has been harmful to our entire species, not just the United States. It's been so prevalent in the United States though because of the conflicts being entirely about skin color, not about cultural backgrounds.
2. a) One of the most interesting accounts to me was Queen Esther's who talked about the lack of recognition of the accomplishments of Black people, and I found it interesting because there were many sentiments that I deeply agreed with but then some that I didn't. It is true that African Americans have invented many things to improve our quality of life and they often had been ignored because they were African American. It is true that African Americans went through horrific medical experimentation, including the Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male, which was just a terrible crime against humanity. It is true that many parts of the south want to ignore the horrors of slavery and want their future generations to forget. The phrase "you owe black people for everything" just irked me, because it's the kind of pretentious statement that she accuses white people of believing. It's as wrong as the phrase "you owe white people for everything". Some of the other things that she stated seemed like stretches of the truth to me as well, like that an African American invented the refrigerator (John Standard invented an unpowered refrigerator design that wasn't popular at the time, and was obsolete 2 decades later by the invention of the electric refrigerator which was invented by a woman, and Frederick McKinley Jones who invented the system that refrigerates box trucks that carry fresh produce, which isn't exactly what she said but still an important achievement), implying that the US and the Caribbean would be a backwater nation without slavery, which isn't impossible but it's more likely that a system would be used like indentured servitude or a system like Australia or Siberia where prisoners were sent there to do whatever, and she claims that the entirety of country music, especially the banjo, were derived entirely from African origins, which is mostly true, but country has a large white southwestern influence separate from bluegrass and the banjo, while the most direct origin is from the Senegambian akonting and other West African instruments, the instrument also has roots in the Portuguese banza, the Chinese sanxian, the Japanese shamisen, the Moroccan sintir, and the Persian tar. Sorry if I went a bit overboard on the analysis lmao.
b) I liked Chef Tu's account because it talked about the way food forms bridges between different cultures, which I really appreciate because of how I know food. It I had a bakery and I had a day where I would bake Vietnamese desserts and I made nothing but croissants I would technically be all good as croissants have found a place in Vietnam when they were part of French Indochina (even though the most common derivative of croissants in Vietnam is the Bánh patê sô, which is savory and filled with meat). If people get mad at me, because they think the croissant is French, I can tell them off by saying that the croissant's origins are Austrian, since it is a version of the Kipfel that used French puff pastry. I just appreciate the way that food mixes around and never becomes rigid, it interconnects cultures. It doesn't care about the manmade idea of race.
c) I liked Parker's second paragraph specifically, where she talks about how Hawai'i was illegally annexed. The United States is one of the few colonial empires left that hasn't allowed its colonies their independence (except the Philippines), others including Russia and China. The US admitted in 1993 that the annexation of Hawai'i was an illegal act, soon after the Cold War ended, probably passed because of the decreased importance of Hawai'i as a military base. The similarities to the annexation of Native American lands are obvious. This is definitely something that tends to get ignored in the American education system that should be brought up much more often.
3. a) On page 29, a note is made about the false treaties that the US made regarding the Native Americans, and how nearly every single one was broken. It's important to spread how many false guarantees that the indigenous people were given as their land was stolen and they were forced onto reservations.
b) On page 23, it's noted that the Texan education curriculum is barely acknowledging slavery and spreading the thought that the Civil War was entirely about state's rights and not about slavery. This is an ongoing issue that really needs to be put into the same spotlight as the Texas Abortion Bill. This is also another reason why Woodrow Wilson is my most hated president, he was a racist POS that helped popularize this way of thinking.
4. Through a very critical lens, I actually thoroughly enjoy this book. It's really important to hear from actual human experiences, as it's more helpful than statistics to understand this sort of thing. I like overanalyzing what quite a few of these people have said, the general idea is one I agree with but there are multiple hypocritical ways of thinking that I noted and that I really despise, like generalizing all white people as racist, self-centered, and uneducated about the plights of other races, I'm not saying that this isn't true of many or even a majority, but it's a dangerous generalization.