Confronting history, Congress studies addition of lynching sites to national park system
The U.S. House is considering a bill that would put lynching sites in western Tennessee on track to become part of the National Park Service, part of a trend this year of Congress using the agency to advance discussions of the nation’s troubled and often violent racial history. A bill from U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, Tennessee Democrat, […]
The national mood used to be ‘let bygones be bygones.’ Will that sentiment work now?
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Most of us are certainly familiar with that timeless advice from George Santayana. His words and the wisdom behind them have stood for more than a century. But what if an important part of the past is obscure, perhaps hidden enough to affect our […]
Is America experiencing a different kind of ‘civil war’?
Wars are not always fought by armed military forces with guns, bombs, stealth fighters, and sophisticated weaponry. And the enemy is not always clearly defined. Even the reasons for war often lack clarity. But the divisiveness and fighting still rage, nonetheless. At first glance, you might think characterizing the divisiveness that America is experiencing today […]
Critical race theory: What it is and what it isn’t
By David Miguel Gray, University of Memphis U.S. Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana sent a letter to fellow Republicans on June 24, 2021, stating: “As Republicans, we reject the racial essentialism that critical race theory teaches … that our institutions are racist and need to be destroyed from the ground up.” Kimberlé Crenshaw, a law […]
History Thursday: Inauguration of first Ohio-born president was controversial
A controversial transfer of power. Traditions going by the wayside. A divided country on edge. Much about the 1869 inauguration of Ulysses S. Grant, the first Ohio-born politician to become president, resembles the year 2021. Americans closely followed the melodrama surrounding the transition from President Andrew Johnson to President-elect Grant, with newspapers around the country […]
Remembering Ohio’s last Civil War veteran legislators
When Henry Frillman stood alone in 1920 as the only remaining Ohio lawmaker who served in the Civil War, it was assumed he would be the last to hold that distinction. Little did newspapers know that two years later, fellow Civil War veteran Joseph Ebright would wait until his mid-70s to jump into state politics. […]
History Thursday: What should replace Confederate statues?
Ever since the University of South Carolina put up a statue of Richard T. Greener – who in 1873 became the school’s first Black professor – one of my favorite things to do has been to eat lunch on a bench nearby to watch how people interact with it. Greener – who taught for four […]
Black Americans, crucial workers in crises, emerge worse off – not better
On June 19, 1865 – 155 years ago – Black Americans celebrating the day of Jubilee, later known as Juneteenth, may have expected a shot at real opportunity. Freedom from slavery should have been freedom to climb up the economic ladder, helped – or at least not hindered – by a nation newly rededicated to […]