21 Comments

So many have learned so very little. As a nation, we continue to fight this very uncivil war.

They say that 'time assuages,'

Time never did assuage;

An actual suffering strengthens,

As sinews do, with age.

Time is a test of trouble,

But not a remedy.

If such it prove, it prove too

There was no malady.

- Emily Dickinson

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Jun 19, 2023Liked by Steven Beschloss

Thank you! I would include a caveat, having read a number of slave narratives from N.C. Formerly enslaved people may not have felt safe sharing their true feelings toward or experiences with their enslavers with white interviewees, painting them in a positive or neutral light.

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author

Good point.

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“Time & tide wait for no man”, both events are a given. Our freedom and our Democracy are not. Today is a good day to for all to consider the best ways to keep them.

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Jun 19, 2023Liked by Steven Beschloss

Thank you Steve for the most appropriate article I’ve read about this holiday today!

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Jun 19, 2023Liked by Steven Beschloss

Thank you very much for sharing these moving stories with us, Steven. And for your timely reminder that freedom is never a given but must always be defended against those who would seek to abridge it for others.

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Jun 19, 2023Liked by Steven Beschloss

There didn't seem to be much thought about what the freed slaves would do. In these stories some masters acted humanely, but I'm sure others did not. If he kicked them out, where would they go, and how would they make a living?

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Jun 19, 2023Liked by Steven Beschloss

Shall we learn from the past or pretend it never happened? Freedom means it's our choice.

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Alternatively, let’s teach learning from the past, ie, critical thinking.

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Jun 19, 2023Liked by Steven Beschloss

Totally agree with you. That was my goal for over 30 years.

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Jun 19, 2023Liked by Steven Beschloss

The original sin indeed. The founders should have been brave enough-they were smart enough-to see that slavery shouldn't have been a part of our new country from the beginning. I think this has been the seed of our discontent since the founding of this country.

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Jun 19, 2023Liked by Steven Beschloss

When for your entire life, someone tells you how and what to think, the deliverance of thought freedom is more than overwhelming. My thoughts bring me to tears thinking about the corrupt use of our current so-called news .

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The mind boggles when confronted with such an overwhelming change. The law changing had a negative impact on slave owners financially. The now free, former slaves were ill-equipped to be on their own to fend for themselves without any real knowledge of how survive. That said, most did survive. The slave owners coped (by mostly corrupt methods) by paying former slaves minimally or sharecropping or work-release post (most often false) arrest. It was up to the freed slaves to figure out, on their own, how to actually better themselves and their situation. An unimaginable task to understand much less undertake in a time where any clues were literally miles away and not easily accessed even after knowing where to look. Not to mention the time it would take to learn how to put any of it to use.

Juneteenth was and is truly a second Independence Day for these United States and as such there needs to be a tangible gifting of reparation every year on a national scale for the next hundred years (at least) to honor that which was overcome by so many great Americans and that which took so many more without regard.

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Jun 20, 2023·edited Jun 20, 2023Author

Thank you for your insight here, Scott. It’s hard to imagine the scale of tumult in those years.

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Thank you for this piece. Illuminates. Spent a little time reading some of Zora Neal Hurston’s work and may suggest for further reading. Powerful in revealing the common basis of human experience.

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Bravo, Steve! Outstanding and necessary work.

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author

Very kind, Karen.

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Racism still enslaves us all. Racism was and will remain our American tragedy and shame for as long as Americans refuse the liberating enlightenment of education and, instead, embrace the constraining yoke of ignorance as their badge of honor.

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The most insightful comment above is: " The master, he says we is all free, but it don't mean we is white."It still applies. I saw 2 pictures of Obama side by side. In one he was black.The other shows what he would look like if white. As if that would make him more acceptable.

English scorn of religious dissenters led them to flee to the New World. Their descendants have, in turn,scorned others, the first, RedSkins.Then came Polaks, Chinks, Micks, Japs,Kikes and of course the N word which still survives. Even my favorite president (for being a common man down to earth honest give 'em Hell, Harry) and rated the 6th best president in US history, used racial slurs, even though he desegregated the armed services. He said, when young, that the Lord made white man from dust, a

n...........r from mud, then threw up what was left and it came down a Chinaman.

Names also called today are, nasty, trump's word for women, snowflake, Duke is "a Yankee school", Antifa, and most interesting, Woke which comes from slave/English talk meaning "awake" to racial injustice and lack of civil rights. The GOP has twisted it to mean everything wrong with America.

Amendments are misinterpreted. 2nd for militia to defend the state, not everyone have an AR-15 rifle.Others promise the right to vote, to a fair trial (think To Kill a Mockingbird), to be secure in their homes (black man shot by police while asleep on couch because a gun laid beside him, a young black woman in bed shot by police looking in the wrong address.) Due process of law if accused of a crime-black man jogging shot by 3 white men chasing him in a truck. Then, there is George Floyd, Trayvon Martin, Emmett Till-google the list of blacks murdered, it is long. Even Prince Harry is shunned for marrying a partially black woman. W.E.B.DuBois,founder of the NAACP, Harvard trained, wrote extensively about white supremacy.

A most interesting story is that in VA at an Episcopalian church service, the congregation was called to the altar to receive communion. A black man rose, knelt.Silence, lack of movement reigned. Up from his pew and down the center aisle strode Robert E. Lee and knelt beside him. His cause was defeated, but he accepted the result.

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When President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act no one could have anticipated the nearly 75 year whitelash.

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founding

Thank you for writing this. I learned a lot. A difficulty many mentioned was learning what it means to be free. Also, some wondered where and how to get food. This makes sense, yet it's new info for me. Learning rocks.

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