To build a nation, you need a labor force. In America, the fact is the early settlers chose slave labor to help build our fledgling nation. We can’t change history. The fact remains our history continues to impact our nation today. We are a country of great ideals, innovation, and prosperity built with a spirit of gumption and fortitude but because our nation allowed and used slave labor to obtain those goals in the beginning, it leaves a stain on the consciousness of humanity and our nation. Which in turn has led to the desire to forget that painful part of our history. So where do we go from here and how can we heal from it? What is important for all of us, is to do the right thing. Can we really forget the slaves and non-slaves who actually did the hard labor to build cities and communities in our nation?
Did you know that in 1619 the slaves cleared 100 acres of land and planted the first sustainable food source in America to save themselves and the settlers from starvation so they could build our nation? We need to be proud and grateful for our ancestors and what they accomplished in spite of slavery and we need to continue to condemn the inhumanity of slavery that forbids a person from making a living wage to support their families. What a shame it would be to lose sight of what our slave ancestors accomplished along side the settlers, just because we would rather not talk about slavery in our American history. Although the American ideals haven’t been fully realized for all American citizens set forth in the Declaration of Independence in 1776, we must continue to find ways to work together to accomplish this for all of us. Today, you can feel the unrest of our citizens trying to correct the imbalance and unjust practices that are not in alignment with our ideals.The fact is our history has never had a one sided perspective, it has only been portrayed that way. Maybe the slave perspective isn’t included in our history books, but that doesn’t stop us from learning their perspective and what they accomplished. The fact remains, history has a multitude of perspectives that all need to be heard. It is up to each of us to ensure this happens.
Grab a cup of coffee and sit down at the kitchen table with your friends and family down-home-we-the-people style and share your stories with each other. Peace and love all around.
Carmel M. Foster
love this article.