It’s important to highlight the parts of history that get overlooked. This is especially true in the United States, where rappers are sometimes slavery apologists, and a charter school can even consider listing the “positive” aspects of slavery. The hard history of people of color in America is… well, hard.
And it’s more complicated than that.
As my friend Anne Grey writes:
Many Americans are taught a straight-forward narrative about slavery and freedom and the development of attitudes on race that simply isn’t true.
And that’s something she (and others) want to change. In York County, PA, they’re raising money TODAY (4 May) to erect a statue of William C. Goodridge, a free black entrepreneur in the 1800’s.
Mr. Goodridge was well-respected and an influential member of the community as well as a conductor and stationmaster on the Underground Railroad. She’s written a very nice bit about his history over on Medium, and you can contribute to his statue at https://stevesaus.com/s/96-zj (The actual link to the drive is the hyperlink; the shorturl is there for those who read this where they get stripped out.)
In this time where there’s such a debate about the place of statues in our lives, it’s important to remember these people of color who contributed so much to our country’s history and to remember them.
Because this history is complicated. This county, where a free black man was a respected member of society? Well, as Anne points out, you might have heard of it recently.
You might have heard of York recently. The story about how our local NAACP president and four of her friends were discriminated against at a local golf course made the New York Times, CNN, and even the Daily Show last week.