Several years ago, my husband and I, Coloradans for more than thirty years, took a trip to the South primarily to visit friends who lived in Greensboro, North Carolina. After we visited and had a good time playing golf together, we drove a little bit further south to Charleston, South Carolina.
On our first stop in Greensboro, our friends took us on a tour of their city which included visiting a forest where soldiers fought during the Revolutionary War and then to the Woolworth store in the main part of town where African Americans broke the Jim Crow laws and sat at the lunch counter and demanded to be served.
On our first stop in South Carolina, we visited Fort Sumter where the Civil War began. There we saw the armor and artillery the Confederates used for the first shots of the conflict.
It was in Charleston that we took our most memorable tour, so full of history about our country. Our tour guide was a white man who was sensitive to the conflicts that have occurred since America began to exist. What I remember most was our visit to the cemetery where John C. Calhoun is buried and the discovery of how such a hateful man was able to be a powerful governing factor that divided our nation and still influences the beliefs of many today.
Our guide ended the tour by taking us to the market where slaves were auctioned off and sold. Very powerful.
The tour guide finessed commenting on the state of our country and its attitude toward the history of slavery by pointing out the gains we have made and commenting that we are still a work in progress.
Of course, we saw many remnants in Charleston of the wealthy's elegant lifestyle that existed at the time at the expense of the slaves who attended them.
I think it's time to acknowledge our history and move forward, to accept what happened in the past and pick out what were the good things. We all should know we can do better and we should all work at making this a reality.
We have the possibility of electing an American woman from the South who is proud of her heritage but cognizant of the many horrific foibles that took place.
Let's move on.