David Thomas

Black Panther is Undocumented

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David Thomas

Estes Park, CO

Our daughter had just turned 17 when we moved to Mexico to begin our work as missionaries with a major U.S. denomination. While we studied Spanish in an immersion language school, my wife and I were home-schooling our daughter. One of the courses I was to teach was geography, so I decided to use another book to teach the subject from a different perspective. In addition to her regular curriculum materials, I bought an atlas that was published in Latin America. The first lesson, on the first day of class, was to be on the western hemisphere. You can imagine my surprise when I read these words in the opening chapter: “America is a vast continent.” Like most people in the U.S., I had been taught that there are two continents: North America and South America. But this book stated “America is a vast continent.” Not only that, but as I read more, I learned that this book spoke of the five continents in the world, not the seven that I had learned in U.S. schools. For the first time in my 55 years, I realized that other people don’t see the world in the same way that we see it. Most people in Latin America are taught there are five continents, and America is ONE of them. If you don’t believe me, ask someone from Mexico, Central America, or South America. And if you don’t believe that, think for a moment about the Olympic flag. What is the design? It’s five interlocking circles…representing what? Representing the FIVE continents. It turns out that most people in the world see five continents, and we in the U.S. are among the very few who see seven, or who consider America to be a country instead of a continent.

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