We need to move past defending needless monuments erected in eras that sent specific messages to formerly enslaved people. We need to understand our history more, not less. That means we deal with the power of Thomas Jefferson’s words as well as his slaveholding mentality and brutality. We need a more full education as weContinue reading “The education we need”
Four books I have worked through in the past few weeks give me the same theme: tell the stories. Don’t just work on the stats. Hear the stories. Walk the places where they happened.
“The myth of the Lost Cause does not begin or end with the Confederate monuments. The myth seeps into many other facets of state-sanctioned life. In eleven states there are a total of twenty-three Confederate holidays and observances. As of 2020, in both Alabama and Mississippi there is a Robert E. Lee Day, Confederate MemorialContinue reading “Monuments and the “Lost Cause””
How the Word is Passed by Clint Smith tells the story of how we have handled race, slavery, and racism in America through several locations in our nation. Those places tell us how we’ve done and how we’re doing… and why too many white Americans think Black Americans should “get over it” when it comesContinue reading “The 13th Amendment”
Let’s be clear: Black history is not about saving America or White people. Black history is about us. In a moment where we still live in what James Baldwin called in “The Fire Next Time” the “loveless world” — a moment still defined by banning Black books, exploiting Black creativity, stifling Black freedom, harming BlackContinue reading “Black History Month isn’t about white people… which is why we don’t like it”
Our problem isn’t “erasing history.” Our problem is not knowing history. Clint Smith reflected on his visit to the Whitney Plantation in his book, How the Word is Passed:
In the second place Clint Smith described in his book, How the Word is Passed, he visits the Whitney Plantation in Louisiana. It is distinctly different as a historical site because it is dedicated to telling the story from the point of view of the slaves. Smith asked his tour guide about reactions from whiteContinue reading ““Were there any good slave owners?””
I am now reading through Clint Smith’s book, How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America. Smith’s goal is to examine places in America and how they tell the story of slavery and racism in American history.
“One of the most damning legacies of white supremacy was not just the way it terrorized us with impunity and devalued us by denying our citizenship and disrespecting us by assaulting our dignity, it was also how it wounded our minds and wounded our souls and wounded our bodies. Any conception of God, (James) BaldwinContinue reading “Diminishing the Black voice and life”