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Mon May 28, 2012, 09:49 PM

How Memorial Day Was Stripped of Its African American Roots

File this one under "I learned something new today." It's the first I heard of African Americans having a role in the founding of memorial day.

"What we now know as Memorial Day began as 'Decoration Day' in the immediate aftermath of the U.S. Civil War. It was a tradition initiated by former slaves to celebrate emancipation and commemorate those who died for that cause.

These days, Memorial Day is arranged as a day 'without politics'--a general patriotic celebration of all soldiers and veterans, regardless of the nature of the wars in which they participated. This is the opposite of how the day emerged, with explicitly partisan motivations, to celebrate those who fought for justice and liberation. The concept that the population must 'remember the sacrifice' of U.S. service members, without a critical reflection on the wars themselves, did not emerge by accident. ..."

continued:
http://www.dominionofnewyork.com/2012/05/27/the-african-american-roots-of-memorial-day/#.T8QpYtX2ZLc

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Arrow 8 replies Author Time Post
Reply How Memorial Day Was Stripped of Its African American Roots (Original post)
jade3000 May 2012 OP
malaise May 2012 #1
Cave_Johnson May 2012 #2
jade3000 May 2012 #5
Cave_Johnson May 2012 #7
MLKJrInspired May 2012 #3
Egalitarian Thug May 2012 #4
iemitsu May 2012 #6
Scuba May 2012 #8

Response to jade3000 (Original post)

Mon May 28, 2012, 10:06 PM

1. I learn something every day

Thanks

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Response to jade3000 (Original post)

Mon May 28, 2012, 10:11 PM

2. Seems fine to me...

 

Better to open it up to all veterans...

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Response to Cave_Johnson (Reply #2)

Mon May 28, 2012, 10:50 PM

5. Missing the point?

I think you may have missed the point of the article. It seems to me that the author is saying we should remember the black roots (and civil war roots more generally) and, in doing so, think more critically about our wars and whether or not they are wars that we should support. I don't think he's saying that it should be a blacks only celebration at all.

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Response to jade3000 (Reply #5)

Tue May 29, 2012, 05:07 AM

7. I got it...

 

I just prefer it as it is now.

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Response to jade3000 (Original post)

Mon May 28, 2012, 10:23 PM

3. Thanks for the good read

That was interesting. The author actually has a pretty broad vision for the holiday. A few lines that i liked:

"So letís use Memorial Day weekend to honor the fallen fighters for justice worldwide, to speak plainly about this countryís historic crimes, and rededicate ourselves to take on those of the present."

"To truly honor Memorial Day means putting the politics back in. ... It means celebrating those who have fought for justice, while exposing the cruel manipulation of hundreds of thousands of U.S. service members who have been sent to fight and die in wars for conquest and empire."

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Response to jade3000 (Original post)

Mon May 28, 2012, 10:23 PM

4. K&R. Thanks for posting. I'm another that learned today. n/t

 

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Response to jade3000 (Original post)

Mon May 28, 2012, 11:23 PM

6. i will share this with my students tomorrow.

thanks

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Response to jade3000 (Original post)

Tue May 29, 2012, 06:46 AM

8. I am now better informed than I was 10 minutes ago. Thank you.

 

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