"This work is unlike any other, in its range of rich, conjuring imagery and its dexterity, its smart voice. Carroll-Hackett doesn’t spare us—but doesn’t save us—she draws a blueprint of power and class with her unflinching pivot: matter-of-fact and tender." —Jan Beatty
Thinking on how it wasn’t all that long ago that it was my Irish ancestors that many people wanted out of the country, saw as less than human, thought they were taking their jobs, hated for their faith and their culture.
Many nations with atrocities in their past—Germany, Rwanda, South Africa—prominently recognize their painful history with memorials, museums, and monuments. This kind of trutful recognition, acknowledgement, helps with healing.
We have yet to do that in the United States. As Jessica Leber writes in the linked article below, “Even today, the nation is largely silent about one of its historical periods of shame: the thousands of lynchings that terrorized southern blacks right up until the Civil Rights era.”
We can do this, y’all. We can be brave enough to face our own nightmares. We have to, if we are, as a nation, going to heal and come together.
“The Equal Justice Initiative, an Alabama organization led by civil rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson, has, for the last few years, been working to place historical markers at lynching sites all around the country. At TED’s conference this week, the group showed a sneak preview of plans for a new national memorial to the victims of lynching that they hope to break ground on some time this year in Montgomery, Alabama.
“In America, we’re not free. We are burdened by a history of racial inequality and injustice. It compromises us. It constrains us,” says Stevenson. “We have to create a new relationship with this history.”
Make art about facing, acknowledging, being accountable for, hard truths about the past.