Yesterday we went to a museum in Cincinnati in memory of the abolishment of the slavery in the US. From the balcony, we looked over the suspension bridge over the Ohio River, we were told that the north from there was freedom and the south from there was slavery. I could imagine that years ago thousands of black people struggled to come across the river to some place where they could decide their own fate.
And then, in the museum, I saw Thomas Jefferson’s well-known seeing” All Men Are Created Equal.” Ironically, the “All Men” here does not include the black people. They were never regarded as people but as property. I could feel the desperate situation which black people had gone through at that time. The President of the US seemed to have no interest in whether they were equally treated. Some of the president themselves even own slaves. However, there are some insightful people aware of the inequality of slavery, including some white people. One of the famous abolitionists is Harriet Beecher Stowe. She wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin which is a well known book throughout the world. And the guide told us that she was taught years ago that Stowe had never been to the South so what she wrote was unconvincing. And this was all because of people’s unwillingness to abolish slavery. I was shocked that people could do whatever to guarantee their own interest, even to stifle the truth.
I remembered several days ago I attended a discussion in Mike’s class. And an American friend told us a little poem. I could not remember the name of the poem clearly, but I could forgot the strong desire delivered in that poem. The poem told us a story that a black child had to eat in the kitchen when guests visited only because he was the darker one of his family. At that time, the darker meant the worse. Skin color was used as a criterion to distinguish people from each other, which is of course unequal and unreasonable. So when I saw a colorful display on the third floor of the museum, I was amazed. On that play, people have various hair colors and skin colors. Some people with blond hair was supposed to be white men, but they have brown or yellow skin colors. In my point of view, this technique of display is to eliminate the clear-cut difference among people with different skin colors. What else exists as a difference among people besides their skin colors when they are born?
In Martin Luther King’s most famous address, he said “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. “ That’s just the point. We should abandon the prejudice out of some unreasonable criteria and learn more about how to really assess one’s personality.
The Civil War had ended years ago. However, our struggle to abandon slavery totally is far from being ceased. In the modern world, there still exist a lot of invisible slavery cases. What we should do is to use our courage, perseverance, and cooperation to help people who are unequally treated. I hope that some day in the future, King’s dream will be no longer only partly fulfilled, but totally fulfilled.