On Confederate Monuments and Public Memorials, Part 1

On July 7th, 2020, in the midst of Black Lives Matter protests, a statue of Frederick Douglass, arguably the most famous Black abolitionist, was pulled from its pedestal in Rochester, New York. Rochester is the city where Douglass published his abolitionist paper, The North Star, where he is buried and where, on July 5, 1852 he delivered his famed “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” speech. In the address, the text of which was widely shared on social media over the 4th of July holiday weekend, he said the United States could not genuinely celebrate its commitment to liberty and independence while enslaving and oppressing Black people. Douglass’s statue was toppled, dragged and du

Towards Racial Justice with Resources

Many thanks to all of you who wrote and shared heartfelt replies to my Independence Day blog last week, and please forgive my not responding personally to each and every one of you. That was my first post of 2020, half way through this cataclysmic year, 4 months into the Covid-19 pandemic, and 6 weeks after the murder of George Floyd. I had been bothered, frustrated and dismayed by my inability to articulate and share my reactions to first the pandemic (more on this next week), then to the blatant, unrepentant racism revealed in the death of George Floyd. As is my want, I turned to writing, sadly in fits and starts. But on July 3rd, a 3 minute writing prompt from one of my favorite creatives

Independence Day

Photo courtesy of Documentary Film Maker, Arlen Parsa from the Chicago Sun-Times. Independence Day. The 4th of July. What a joke. Whose independence? The thirteen colonies threw off the British. Yeah!! Celebrate the document our Founding Fathers wrote enshrining the principles of the nascent United States of America, read “We declare these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” Yes, but in their own all lives matter moment, our Founding Father’s excluded black people. A parlor full of white men in white silk stockings, high heels and powdered wigs, pen this high-principled statement of liberty and equality while they enslave my ancestors, rape my ancestors, enshrin

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Website created 2017 by Diane Barnes and Mariano Diaz