WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sitting here staring at the image of 16th Street in Washington D.C., I can only view it with pride. The reason is because I am hoping that the events of the last couple of months, along with these words leading right up to the White House, is an indicator of future systemic changes in our government and the occupants of this historic building.
Why would I say this? Because the literal White House was built on the backs of free and enslaved African Americans. The Black Lives Matter street leads up to the front door of the White House.
A little known fact is that when looking for workers to build the White House, our government was looking to acquiring workers from Europe. In our minds we may have formed an image of white men on scaffolding, building what would become home to our president and his family. The builders settled on the usage of African Americans, who was plentiful, due to the importation prior to January 1, 1808, followed by domestic breeding of slaves, as if they were animals. This is a tragic fact, not fake news.
African Americans were the bulk of the workers, but not the only workers, who built the White House. People of all races were commissioned to get the job done. They were just as the modern protesters in Washington, D.C. were, a hodgepodge of all people coming together to begin to accomplish a goal.
The goal now is not that of Donald Trump bogus throwback saying, Make America Great Again. The goal of those marching was to make America truly great for the first time in our history by bringing about systemic changes, especially in our criminal justice system, now and in the future, not by reverting to a fantasy of the past.
Why have so many people never heard of this? It has not been known because it has never been taught. American history as taught in most schools is just that, his story, the white man’s story. It is not the true story of this country, America’s history. Historians have long known and acknowledged the role played by Blacks.
The myths and fake news are the denial of the fact that all races have played roles in developing this country, but especially the Black race, who had no decision in how they came here or the work ahead of them. This country was built on the sweat, blood, stripes and tears of our Black mothers and fathers, for little or no money.
It is only fitting that the words on the road leading up to the White House proclaim, Black Lives Matter. Their lives mattered when constructing it, and they do now. I love to think of Donald Trump waking up in a mansion built by African-American men and women, with the verbiage on the street running vertical to it stating, Black Lives Matter. This is the truth not a myth, a fact not an alternative fact.