8/2/2019, 6 a.m. | Updated on 8/2/2019, 11:46 a.m.
The Virginia Legislative Black Caucus wisely offered alternative events Tuesday in Richmond remembering the Africans who were brought to Virginia 400 years ago in 1619.
While their arrival at Port Comfort in what is now Hampton marked the start of human bondage in an English colony in the future America, it is important to focus on the contributions throughout the centuries of enslaved people.
When the current president and his support- ers invoke the phrase, “Send them back,” we must remember that this IS our country; we literally built it.
We will not allow his racist words and behavior that foment hatred and division to become the new normal. We support Delegate Delores L. McQuinn of Richmond, whose efforts led to the commemoration at the State Capitol on Tuesday honoring the black lawmakers who served in the Virginia House of Delegates between 1869 and 1890, just after the end of the bloody Civil War. Delegate McQuinn also coordinated the event that followed in Shockoe Bottom at the Lumpkin’s Jail site, where enslaved people were inhumanely bought and sold. The site turned from one of pain to triumph after the Civil War when it became a school where the newly freed could come to learn to read and write. As most Richmonders know, that was the start of what is today Virginia Union University.
President Trump’s visit to Jamestown on Tuesday added no benefit to the lives of most Virginians. His empty words offered no salve for the past and no promise for creating a better future.
Our hope is linked to the strength, courage and vision of the people of color who were remembered and honored in Richmond on Tuesday. They left a real legacy for us to build upon.