the Green Mountain State honors its original residents and the continued presence of Abenaki/Wabenaki peoples with an official holiday.
That this happens during a time when almost all the traditional history guideposts are in flux is no surprise. We now know and understand more about the slaveholding positions of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and other founders of the nation. (I find some of the powerful art of Titus Kaphar remarkable in his vision of this.) We can finally look back and acknowledge that the verdant lands of the New World were fully occupied by people who had respected, insightful cultures. We can admit that this nation began in genocide and land grabbing ... while at the same time seeing, as Benjamin Franklin did, that the deep culture of America's native peoples had much to offer in framing what we now treasure as our nation's ethical frameworks.
But we have more to learn.
I was fascinated to discover today, through a New York Times piece, that "Columbus Day" was created as part of the struggle for Italian Americans to take their place as respected citizens. If you have a few minutes, I hope you'll read the article, which is accompanied by stunning photographs. Those familiar with the history of Jews in America will recall a parallel trend, when the need for soldiers for World War II assisted in the delayed acceptance of Jews into the American mainstream. The same demand for "cannon fodder" during World War I began the dissolution of laws that had blocked Asian Americans from full citizenship, something I pondered often during the research and writing for my novel Cold Midnight.
May we all stand for this continued process of reassessing our past, facing our mistakes, and making a fairer, more just future for all.
In the writing room right now ...
In the writing room right now ... I am working on book #3 in the Winds of Freedom series, a teen adventure series set in the 1850s in North Danville, Vermont. My 1852 Vermont adventure THIS ARDENT FLAME is scheduled for June 2021 publication with Five Star/Cengage -- I will give you updates and early order information as soon as I know! I'm also writing a memoir; revising a mystery; in the midst of a novel about a grandmother and her granddaughter; and always writing poems. Yes, I guess I do like multi-tasking! How about you?