Keep the Statues of the Slave-holders, but….mark their deeds.

Thomas Jefferson fathered a half dozen

            children with his African American slave – Sally Hemmings.

He probably fathered more with other slaves.

 

He owned hundreds of slaves…

            men, women, and children

who toiled for him, while he wrote

            the Declaration of Independence,

“All Men are created equal.”

 

Did he ponder those words looking out to

            the fields of Monticello?

Great man of the Age of Enlightenment,

            philosopher, writer, and inventor

who gladly ate while being served by his  slaves.

 

How many Black artists, poets, inventors, and creators

            did he keep locked in chains?

 

George Washington, Father of the Nation, with

            his hundreds of slaves at Mount Vernon,

did he ever ponder the irony that he was a

            Freedom Fighter who enslaved people?

 

Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, Jefferson Davis,

            slave owners throughout the South, and

            slave traders in the north who profited and

                        even African Americans who owned slaves.

 

How many people were complicit in the business of slavery?

We cannot remove all of their statues and legacies,

                              nor should we.

Instead, each place there are statues, each plantation house

            on St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans  paid for by slaves,

the White House and US Capitol built by slaves, the towns of Charleston and Savannah

            and more — built by slaves

 

On all these places and statues of Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Robert E.Lee, etc.

and on all these buildings built with the blood and sweat of slaves….

Let us put  a stout  black chain with a thick padlock welded shut, and a sign

 

Built, created with the blood and sweat of African American

         Men, Women and children who were slaves

 

Namaya August 18, 2017

 

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