The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

SPJ to host ‘Forget the Alamo’ virtual book discussion

SPJ to host ‘Forget the Alamo’ virtual book discussion - The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

A stereograph of The Alamo, San Antonio, Texas. Published by Stereo-Travel Co., 1909. Photo retrieved from of the Library of Congress.

The Houston chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Bay Area New Democrats are co-hosting a free virtual discussion from 6:30-7:30 p.m. on Oct. 13 with two co-authors of the new book, “Forget the Alamo: The Rise and Fall of an American Myth.”

The book explores the idea that much of what we’ve been taught about the Alamo is a lie perpetuated by popular culture, academic institutions and misinformation.

The authors will discuss the book’s evolution and their extensive research journey examining overlooked historical documents and Tejano history.

What really happened leading up to, during and after the infamous 1836 battle? How much of its history is a buried, white-washed fairytale?

In “Forget the Alamo,” writers Bryan Burrough and Chris Tomlinson, both native Texans, along with Jason Stanford, seek to challenge what they refer to as the “Heroic Anglo Narrative of Texas History” by offering research and insight that dispels the Alamo’s myth of self-sacrifice.

“When you look at the causes of the Texas Revolution, slavery was paramount,” Burroughs said in an interview with The Atlantic Magazine. “It was the one thing that the Mexican government was constantly trying to take away from the Texans. “For the Texans, this was not about morals. It was about economics.”

According to the authors, the impetus for the book was not a heavy discussion about critical race theory, as some might imagine.  

Instead, the book began as a casual chat they had in 2019 about the state’s proposed plans to spend hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars on the redevelopment of the Alamo. This then led them to a reckoning about the monument’s lesser-known history. 

The authors said they wondered which version of events would it be founded in?

There are two sides to every story, and this book aims to uplift ideas about what the Alamo symbolizes to communities of color and encourages readers to be open to viewpoints different from the mainstream narrative. 

In an article for Time Magazine, Burroughs and Stanford write, “This, by and large, is not the Texas history many of us learned in school; instead, we learned a tale written by Anglo historians beginning in the 19th century. What happened in the past can’t change. But the way we view it does—and, as a state and a country, now is the time to teach the next generation our history, not our myths.”

For more information and to register for the virtual event go to the event page, visit SPJ-Houston’s website, or follow them on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

 

About the Author

Denise Treviño
Denise Treviño
Assistant Editor
Denise Treviño is a senior communications major at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. Born and raised in the Alamo City, she has always aspired to make a difference in her community. She hopes to grow her storytelling skills and delve deeper into the world of multimedia journalism through her current work at university. After graduation, she looks forward to pursuing a career that allows her to tell stories that will inspire as well as entertain. In her free time, you will find her watching and analyzing British detective shows on the couch with her dogs Ransom and Dougie, strumming a ukulele or out on a hike with family and friends.

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