Put'em up Jacksonville
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We as a nation cannot change the things which are in our nation's past but we as United citizens, not divided, can change the part they play in our future. It is easy to blame our origins for our failures, but it is just as easy to turn our back on our nation's ugly past and create a successful future. We do not have to change anything apart from our own outlook. Taking down Confederate statues will change nothing but enable a few the attempt to rewrite our American history..... something that is impossible to accomplish.
There is a new movement in America to take down relics of our American history. An American history that has forged the people we are today. We are strengthened as a society from our American history. We have persevered through times of social injustice and civil rights violations. We honor those leaders during the Civil Rights era as American Heroes. And we should continue to honor them with public displays and monuments. They too are part of our American history. They too are what makes us stronger and more UNITED as a society today.
So, instead of "Tear'em Down Jacksonville"...let us "Put'em up Jacksonville"
We should spend the time, effort, and resources by not taking down monuments of our American history, but rather we should be putting up more monuments of our full American history...... honoring those who have fought and died so that all Americans, no matter color or creed, would be treated with common decency and equal rights.
Such leaders as:
Alexander H. Darnes c.1840 - February 11, 1894
Alexander H. Darnes was an African American who was born into slavery in St. Augustine, Florida and became the FIRST BLACK DOCTOR in Jacksonville, Florida. As a youth and young man, he served Edmund Kirby Smith, the son of his master, in Texas with the United States Army, and during the Civil War when Kirby Smith served as a Confederate general.
Mary McLeod Bethune (1875-1955)
As early as 1904, Florida's African Americans were working to improve their lives. Segregation forced blacks and whites to attend different schools and the quality of education was not as good for black children. As a result, African Americans often needed to supplement their education by creating their own schools. In , Mary McLeod Bethune opened the Daytona Literacy and Industrial Training School for Negro Girls.
Martin Luther king Jr. (1921-1968)
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. visited Florida in 1964. He advocated peaceful protest and organized groups to march in protest. One of these marches took place in St. Augustine. There were many violent outbursts and confrontations between the marchers and bystanders who were against integration. This event led the way for more marches. Eventually, the United States passed a law called the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed segregation.
Earl M. Johnson
Attorney Earl M. Johnson battled segregation and represented activists including the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Johnson was the first African-American to become a member of the Jacksonville Bar Association. He also served as chair of the Florida Board of Bar Examiners and was instrumental in the consolidation of Jacksonville’s government.
Johnson was committed to fighting inequality and segregation throughout his life.
And others such as Rosa Parks, Rutledge Pearson, and Jesse McCrary, Jr.
Again , we are who we are because of our past but by thinking differently we can steer our future in the direction we want it to go by remembering and honoring those who paved the way for our rights and freedoms as AMERICANS.
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