There is no Confederate lite

This is one of the several articles about the John B. Castleman statue that appeared in the May 8 issue of LEO Weekly. To read the rest, go here.

James Baldwin once said, “I love America more than any other country in the world and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.” Similarly, it is because I love Kentucky that I will do the same. Kentucky is a place where my father and mother are from, where my father lived, worked and died. It is where my daughter learned to tie her shoes, ride her bike and attended college. Kentucky is where my family and I call home. It is a place that, after 20 years, I am still learning to navigate as a black woman. As welcoming as Kentucky is, it is a state that still has the lingering legacy of slavery. While often considered a neutral state in the Civil War, Kentucky cannot deny its role in the enslavement of black men, women and children. In the 1850s, 23% of white males in Kentucky owned slaves, and Kentucky protected the right to own slaves. Due to its proximity to the Ohio River, Kentucky played an integral role in the slave trade, often selling black people “down the river” to states where they would endure unimaginable hardship. Slavery was integral to the economy of Kentucky and the lives of countless black people were lost or forever impacted.

It is time for Kentucky to face its ugly truth.

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