A shameful past, in photos

The New York Times Magazine’s “The 1619 Project” should be mandatory reading. I can’t remember how much we covered slavery in U.S. history in high school. It wasn’t enough. This article by Anne C. Bailey (text) and Danielle Bowman (photos) discusses the importance of documenting slave auction sites. White people made fortunes selling humans and tearing families apart.

Bowman’s photographs are powerful. I wish I would have read this article when I lived in DC and Virginia. I think including them in an itinerary would make for a valuable history lesson. I’ve been to Monticello. That’s when I started looking at the founding fathers more critically. I’ll never understand how someone could write that all men are created equal and then base his prosperity on the labor and ownership of others.

I used to live close to Georgetown and would go there occasionally on weekends. I’m a creature of habit, so more than a few times I got stuck in terrible traffic after or before a Sunday service at one of the black churches. If you’re familiar with Georgetown, you know it’s really wealthy and really white. I always meant to learn more about that church’s history. Someone told me that its history was linked to the slave trade in Georgetown. I’m not sure if that’s accurate. Maybe I can find the name of that church or churches on Google Maps.