Have you had the experience, recently, where you watch something about history and you feel like you have not ever heard that before? What a treat to hear the newest series from PBS on Reconstruction: America after the Civil War. This period is one where as the nation tries to knit itself back together, Black Americans are trying to exercise the rights of their citizenship.
But to my surprise, I don’t quite know this story! Have you had the experience where someone like Henry Louis Gates, Jr., “Skippy,” tells you that reconstruction after the Civil War was just like the Obama presidency and how Redemption, the period that follows Reconstruction is just like the period we are living in now? Have you had the light bulb go on above your head, and stay on? How could we be repeating this history?
Although the north won the war, the south has continued to live its own way of life, even as the north and south have dissolved into our common land. Our differences that were so publicly declaimed during that war have to some degree turned inward towards friends who will listen to many songs of our country. Perhaps we need to “sleep,” our way to a more united country?
The pandemic has been like our sleep, the death of how we used to be, the balm we needed for our hurt minds, and humankind’s second course. Could education help us to knit up the ravelled sleeve of care?