The daughter of a slave opened the first national black museum, reminding us that slavery wasn't long ago at all
This weekend, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture, the first national black museum, opened its doors to the public. Like, finally! The museum seeks to document, and therefore validate, African-American life, history, and culture. It’s really so, so amazing, and we’re so excited to be alive for this incredible moment in our history. But one of the most stand-out moments was the presence, and role, of Ruth Bonner, the daughter of a man who was born a slave.
President Obama said,
He continued, saying,
Like, wow. While many wish we could just call ourselves “colorblind” and move past all racism, the simple truth is that we, as a country, have a history of racism. We had slaves, really and truly kidnapped and killed and bought and sold humans. And it wasn’t that long ago at all, as the 99 year old daughter of a former slave shows us. Unfortunately, racism is not something that just goes away. And it does no good for us to close our eyes to it; the answer is to face it head on, and to challenge racism as we see it both in our everyday lives and on a structural level.
Moments like these remind us of the fact that slavery didn’t end because we realized, all at once, that we were wrong. It ended because those who knew it was wrong fought to end that awful oppression.