Historical erasure of the travails of Black people along with false propaganda about the extent of the brutality that African-Americans have always faced in this country is as old as the founding of the United States of America. This is one of many reasons the admitted wearing of blackface in college by both Gov. Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring is offensive and egregious.
When news broke on the first day of Black History Month that Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam had appeared in a photograph wherein one individual portrayed a Klansman and another was in blackface, I was on a personal pilgrimage to the Jamestown Settlement museum in Jamestown, Virginia. The purpose of my visit was simple yet meaningful to me: to honor the lives of those “20 and odd” enslaved Africans whose bondage began the peculiar institution of slavery in the United States of America.
Harrisonburg citizens already know that clean energy helps the city do its part to fight climate change while bringing the Friendly City into the 21st century economy. That’s why Harrisonburg has achieved one of the highest concentrations of solar power installed on homes of any community in Virginia.
This Thanksgiving, I came home to Harrisonburg from Massachusetts to celebrate my ten-year Harrisonburg High School reunion. Reconnecting with the people I grew up with was a good occasion to reflect on all that the ‘Burg taught me.
In Harrisonburg, I learned that a public K-12 education can be a great education. I learned to love the views from Skyline Drive in all four seasons. I learned that Kline’s ice cream knows no rivals.
Have you ever had a penny thrown at you? Have you ever been invited to your friend’s house for dinner only to overhear your friend’s sister say that you’re not welcome in their house? Have you lost most of your family to gas chambers and death marches? I have…because I’m Jewish.