Prior to walking into Gettysburg yesterday, I was trying to figure out why I wasn’t feeling very excited about finishing up my 80-mile walk in the historic city. I was aware of militia groups that had been demonstrating in Gettysburg regularly over the last few years making threats and hate statements reminiscent of Charlottesville.
I was also feeling something else that I partially shared with an Inquirer reporter. “I want to pay homage to all the young men who died here, and yet I am unhappy with some of the history that followed the end of the [Civil] War, the end of slavery and the country’s embrace of Jim Crow and segregation.”
My thoughts made me reflect back to the book I was listening to by historian Annette Gordon Reed, titled “On Juneteenth.” In the book, Reed cites a passage by W.E.B DuBois from his book, the Souls of Black Folk. And suddenly, I understood it was my “Blackness” and “Americannes,” or Black double consciousness, set in opposition to one another in this place of history that caused my angst.
Here’s a link to the Philadelphia Inquirer story and more on my walk and its conclusion.