Alternative History in Donald Trump’s America
This past week I published two essays at The Daily Beast. The first focused on President Trump’s confusing and self-serving address marking the beginning of Black History Month.
“Donald Trump Flunks Black History” (February 2, 2017)
The vice president’s tweet wasn’t much better, though at least he managed to complete a coherent thought.
Leave it to Pence to honor Black History Month by tweeting about a white man. I suspect the man’s head would explode if it was suggested that the slaves themselves had something to do with emancipation and the end of slavery.
My second piece was published earlier this morning and focuses on Boston Mayor Marty Walsh’s defiant stand against the president’s intention to remove so-called “sanctuary cities.”
“Boston Defies Trump on Immigrants the Way the City’s Abolitionists Once Fought Slavers” (February 4, 2017) — Correction: Leonard Grimes was a Baptist minister in Boston – not Virginia, which was his birth place – when he successfully purchased Burns’s freedom.
As a resident of Boston I couldn’t help but think of the city’s response to efforts to remove fugitive slaves in the 1850s.
I am currently working on a piece for Smithsonian about the history of historical markers. Yesterday the image below came through my social media feed, which I thought was perfect timing.
This administration is certainly keeping historians busy.