Let's design a plaque for sites to honor the enslaved labor that helped build them
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Create a National Plaque in order to recognize historically significant structures built with the contributions of enslaved laborers.
- Petition Secretary of the Interior, currently Ryan Zinke, to commission the design of a plaque that would commemorate, honor, and acknowledge the labors of enslaved persons in the creation of many historically significant structures in the United States.
Institutions such as Georgetown University, Harvard University, and many others are examining their own ties to slavery and exploring various ways to share this history.
Many cities are removing statues and memorials that honor Confederates in the Civil War. As we remove memorials to a immoral repressive regime, we can begin to correct the oversight of not honoring the humans who have contributed so greatly to the building of this country.
There is a demand for this recognition, both from the public and the current stewards of our national historical sites.
The White House, Mt. Vernon, Monticello, many state and local courthouses, governor's mansions, churches, farms and plantations alike were built in part with enslaved labor. We can guess that states ranging from Maine to Florida, from Virginia to Kansas, from Illinois to Texas will have innumerable structures of historic significance that owe their existence in part to this labor force.
We Petition the US National Park Service to take up this challenge: to create a nationally recognizable symbol (to be commissioned from contemporary artists) that would be provided to any private or public entity that voluntarily desires to identify their structure.
Acknowledging enslaved labor cannot repair the past sins but can send an important message to current and future generations: we no longer hide the shameful past and we honor the sacrifices of so many men and women.
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