This one's going out to it's margaret.
You may remember eons ago at the beginning of April, Governor Bob McDonnell of Virginia declared April 2010 Confederate History Month. He might have forgotten slavery as part of Confederate History at first, then snapped his fingers and said, “That’s right!” when it was pointed out to him that, you know, that might have been part of it.
Ta-Nehisi Coates has been doing a wonderful series on his blog exploring Confederate History Month. Kind of a “You want Confederate History? I’ll give you Confederate History.”
It’s thoughtfully and thoroughly done with some wonderful original documents, including excerpts from Grant’s diary, a letter from a freed slave to a former master, and the original proclamations of secession that make it very clear that slavery is no afterthought.
One of the things I love is his very thoughtful understanding of how painful it can be to go through the process of respectfully understanding a history that is not flattering to oneself. He can do this because he went through it himself. He writes a very moving post of moving from a defensive black nationalism to a “more humanist understanding of history,”—all the facts, but none of the chivalric sheen to it, is the way he puts it.
And then this brilliant line I want to inscribe on a wall somewhere:
“Subbing in myth for history is a false armor to guard against the hurt.”
Is that not a glorious summation? I see that in the church as well as in the nation. I’m reminded of someone else saying, “And you shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.” Hard work, grappling with the truth, though. I’m grateful for the people who will help me to do that. That means you, Ms. M. I never see you putting on false armor. I suspect that's why it hurts so much.
Blessings to you and all.