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Checking Out Me History Summary & Analysis
by John Agard

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"Checking Out Me History" was written by the British Guyanese poet John Agard and first published in 2005, in the collection Half-Caste. The poem focuses on the holes in the British colonial education system—particularly that system's omission of important figures from African, Caribbean, and indigenous history. In other words, the poem discusses how colonized people were forced to learned about British history—which had little to do with their actual lives—at the expense of their own history. Not only does the poem call attention to the oppressive nature of colonial education, but it also praises important figures who were left out—figures such as Touissaint L'Ouverture, the leader of the Haitian revolution. The poem suggests the colonial syllabus deliberately blinded colonized people to their own histories, and argues that only by re-learning their history can these people can fully understand and embrace their identities.

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