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Archive for Friday, March 22, 2002

Black history

March 22, 2002

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To the editor:

I have just read Artie Shaw's letter about the article entitled, "Lawrence abolitionist heritage not without racism," (Feb. 24). He states, "The story is not about 'Black History,' it is about Lawrence's history." I am sorry, Artie Shaw, but part of that history is black history because it is MY history and the history of all of the descendants of Rebecca Harvey.

Rebecca's story is incredible because she was a black woman who educated at least three sons with degrees from the University of Kansas. She worked hard and bought land which the family still owns. What is even more remarkable is that the legacy has not died. Most of us are educated.

As people of color, we can tell you about the pain of growing up in Lawrence, Kansas. We can tell you stories of not being able to swim because there was no public swimming pool, not being able to sit in certain diners because coloreds were not allowed to sit, and no "can I help you" in stores while white people were being served. I can tell you about a time when there was one black teacher at Lawrence High School.

I can also tell you that I am one of four black educators at LHS now. I have a son that has faced racism. Excuse me, but Lawrence's history has not been all that great when it comes to people of color, and it has been filled with racism. Do you need a month devoted to white history? Only if you have the same kind of stories to tell.

Debra Green,

Lawrence

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