Monday, April 4, 2011

The First Cassius Clay

The First Cassius Clay:

Was a least his newspaper office was here, though his farm was in Madison County across the Kentucky River.

I am reminded of this by a number of events:

1--KET has begun rebroadcasting "The Civil War", most of this week at 8, and I urge you to see it, or re-see it.

2--The 150th anniversary of the start of that war is next week, Tuesday the 12th, and there will be many events observing it in the next few years. Time for all of us to immerse ourselves in our own history, especially that "defining moment" which was the Civil War.

3--The Society of Professional Journalists will dedicate Clay's home, White Hall, as a national historic journalism site that day. Clay's anti-slavery paper "The True American" so incensed the dominant pro-slave sentiments of this area that his press was seized in an attempt to shut him down. Didn't work. For more, Google him.

4--Slavery lives among us. ABC reported over the weekend of charges placed after a raid on a quiet Georgia neighborhood where many women were being held in slavery. (Sexual in this case, but there have been a number of national reports recently of people being held in economic slavery as well). Kentucky was listed as among a dozen states by the ABC report where similar cases have been charged.

"All men are created equal" we would like to think is our contribution to the world. It is, but so was our contribution to that "peculiar institution", slavery, which still is a blot upon the world...and America.

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