Reader’s bigoted response to my column shows why we must teach Black history | Opinion
On March 4, I traveled with Marvin Dunn and more than 40 others to Rosewood in northern Florida on one of his “Teach the Truth” tours, which brought to life horrific moments of racial violence in Florida’s past.
On March 12, I wrote about how the tour affected me; how my emotions ranged from anger to sadness to enlightenment. I was overwhelmed about what I learned.
The response to the column was warm and positive. Except for this one:
Re: Your Miami Herald Article
Every person in the United States should get down on their knees each morning and thank someone that they are here in the United States.
For most black people, they should be grateful that their great, great, great, grandparents were brought here as slaves.
Because--- THAT’S the only reason YOU are here.
If that hadn’t happened, YOU would be in Uganda, or Ethiopia, or Botswana, or some other god-forsaken place being raped, or hacked to death by some rebel group while drinking water I would wash my dog in.” – Robert Glazenbrook
I read the email and then wrote him a one-line response. I simply said, “Thank You.”
I am sure the man who wrote that mean email won’t understand why I thanked him. First, I thanked him for reading my column. Then, I thanked him for having the gall to write this filth to me and for even signing his name (if it really is his name).
He wasn’t ashamed of the nasty tone of his letter. He poured out his heart in the few lines he wrote, showing me what is buried deep inside. He unveiled his true self. So, I thanked him.
As I read the email, I realized more than ever, how important it is to teach the truth to our children. It would be a sad thing to have them grow up to become like him, steeped in ignorance and unwilling to learn from the past.
The writer was right about one point: We all should thank God every day for living in the United States of America. And yes, while I don’t like the history of the migration of my foreparents, I am glad to be an American. Does that mean that all is well in our country? No. Why, even as I write this column, there is unrest all around us. In Washington, even our lawmakers can’t seem to agree on much these days.
Although our country is more than two centuries old, we are still experiencing growing pains. There is still much work to be done to make America greater. Being thankful gives us hope and keeps us pushing forward. We can only do this by recognizing that we are not perfect, that we have flaws. And yes, that some of our history makes us ashamed to recall it.
But like it or not, my friends, our history is what it is. Denying the parts of our history that make us ashamed won’t make it go away. We must stand up and face the demons of our past and vow to make things better. We must say to ourselves that we won’t let the gloomy parts of our past be repeated.
How do we do that? We do that by teaching our children, the future of this nation, the truth. If they don’t know the truth, what will keep them from repeating the dark times of the past?
That is why teaching the true history of America is so important. No one should try to cover up our history by banning books and making it unlawful to teach the true American history. No one should bury our history deep in the dirt and pile rocks of lies on top. Yet, even when this happens, somehow the truth just keeps on seeping out. The message of truth will live on long after the messenger is gone.
The truth will always find a way.
Six women to be honored
Congratulations to the six trailblazing Women in South Florida Arts, who will be honored at a ceremony at 3 p.m. March 26 at the Sandrell Rivers Theater, 6103 NW 62nd St. in Liberty City.
The honorees are: Quanikqua Bryant., Cornelia Dozier, Regina Hodges, Florene Nichols, Brandiss Seward, Charlotte Seward and Rosie Gordon Wallace. A reception with live entertainment will follow the ceremony.
To RSVP, email email@example.com, or call 305-705-3218 or 305-200-5043. A donation will be accepted for M Ensemble Students on Stage After School Program.
Open houses during Ramadan
The Muslim community of South Florida will celebrate Ramadan with several open houses starting March 27 at the Islamic School of Miami, 11699 SW 147th Ave. To RSVP, call 786-512-3150 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are the other open houses:
▪ March 28: The Islamic Center of Greater Miami, 4305 NW 183rd St. in Miami Gardens. To RSVP, call 305-904-0074 or email email@example.com.
▪ March 30: The Mohsin and Fauzia Jaffer Center at Florida International University. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
▪ April 4: The Jaffer Institute, Miami Dade College. Call 305-962-0330 or email email@example.com
▪ April 6: The Islamic Foundation of South Florida, 5455 NW 108th Ave., Sunrise. Call 954-605-2942.
The first day of Ramadan is Wednesday, March 22. It marks the holiest month in the Islamic calendar, when Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, pray and build a stronger spiritual relationship with Allah.
Women in media honored
The Beta Tau Zeta Chapter of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, in partnership with Zeta Blue Network, honored five women in the media at the 77th Annual Finer Womanhood Community Fellowship Awards Gala held March 18 at Jungle Island.
The honorees of the “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories” program are: Tania Francois, CBS executive producer; “Stichiz” radio 103.5 personality and NBC TV personality; Monica Richardson, McClatchy vice president of local news, large markets; Carey Brianna Hart, stage director/actress and activist; and Vanessa Charlot, photographer, filmmaker and journalism professor.