Detroit

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A New View

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The statue of Chris Columbus downtown has been put in storage. One woman commented, "Where it belongs."  Chris conducted genocide and enslaved Caribbean peoples he called Indians because he thought he was in India. The indigeinous people were forced to bring gold and food and failure to obey resulted in the removal of hands and limbs. I was never taught that in my history books.
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Consequently, a review is underway to assess monuments and street names and all the historical contributions of the men being honored. Practical solution, placing plaques on buildings and statues adding the slave context out of which or during which their wealth and achievements were made possible. Dishonorable mention is not the goal, Washington was 1st Prez and Mt Vernons slave count rounds out a truth and ends the practice if invisible Black history.
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In Detroit, the fact that we had slavery here, is unknown to Detroiters. Black slavery was in the South. All the schoolbooks said so, failing to mention Northern slavery.  Much has to be researched and presented humanely and scholastically.  Mostly it has to be presented honestly and candidly, correcting long standing myths.
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Perhaps along with MLK Boulevard we will have George  Floyd Avenue. (Black Martyrs). A way to include Black contributions: 12th Street is Rosa Parks, Washington Blvd as George Floyd Blvd and Floyd Square. With 1 trillion headed for the states for infrastructure, renaming and losing racist's honored in streets names can be financed and change begun this year. Namings and determination of who will be honored is up to the current generations. Knowledge of who promoted and benefited from slavery is about to upset a lot of people.
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In your face history lessons. Confederate statues are coming down. Enlightened colleges and universities could take the lead. Tough calls. GWU. Oh! The High Schools. 

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p.s Aunt Jenimah pancake mix, a stereotype routed in slavery,  has been announced as being changed. Uncle Ben can go too, but Black faces on food is rare. We always buy those. Symbols are powerful. 

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~S~ 



 

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Cascade's picture

I did not know there was

I did not know there was slavery in Detroit. I did read that Uncle Ben was a real person (African American) a rice farmer known to rice Millers around Houston for consistently producing the highest quality of rice.i also read that there were 3 separate black women representing aunt Jemima for Quaker oats. 2 of their families seem to be upset by the removal. Something about removing their history, if I recall correctly. Lillian Richards, Green, and I think the other was ? Harrington?  Personally, Stella, I think this is all an orchestrated "devide an conquer" if we are fighting eachother, we are not focused on the real problem...them! Our government and all the swamprats be destroying this country for their own agendas. In my opinion there is only one race, the human race!

allets's picture

Human Acknowledgement

Is the goal. Cultural evolution and other systemic removal of stereotypes is very heartening, representing commitment to change. Label alteration is costly  -  they want also to keep the customers happy. Like Kwanzaa and Juneteenth, acceptance is meaningful to all factions and racial groups fircing remembrance  and freedom concepts. World governments are forced to think and adapt. Small gestures alongside big ones like statues removed are little symbols in themselves, but this done creatively and universally will alter the history books. Free at last. I wish. Law will follow. Attitudes hopefully will shift toward humanism.  We watch to see if the changing winds will continue or fade as they have historically. Thank you for info on Unkkka Ben and the Mammy image that  were both updated after 1968 rebellion. Footnotes for history are always interesting. Change - the goal like confed flags fading, also rememberance history, is all good. ~S~