Let’s heal our nation

Published 7:25 am Thursday, July 23, 2020

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By Doug York

In my collection I have this carte de visite or CdV of Sojourner Truth. This photograph of her was taken in Michigan in 1863, this was the year the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, and the year the United States Colors Troops was organized. In this photo you will see there is an open cased photograph of her grandson James Caldwell sitting on her lap. He was one of the members that joined the famous USCT’s 54th Mass regiment and would go on to fight at Fort Wagner in South Carolina where he would be taken prisoner and held in a Confederate Prison for most of the remainder of the year.

Sojourner Truth was an African American evangelist, abolitionist, women’s rights activist and author who lived a miserable life as a slave, serving several masters throughout New York before escaping to freedom in 1826. After gaining her freedom, Truth became a Christian and, at what she believed was God’s urging, preached about abolitionism and equal rights for all, highlighted in her stirring “Ain’t I a Woman?” speech, delivered at a women’s convention in Ohio in 1851. She continued her crusade for the rest of her life, earning an audience with President Abraham Lincoln and becoming one of the world’s best-known human rights crusaders.

Monday, June 2, marked the day she left New York to start her career as an abolitionist and women’s rights activist.

That day also represented nearly a week of continued protest over the way African Americans have been treated. The outcry over another African American being killed, murdered by the hands and knee of a police officer. Will America use this time to truly heal itself from racial inequality?

I am 55 years old this year. I was but a toddler during the 1960s when the Civil Rights law was passed. When protest and riots were taking place. When the great Man Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated.

The people of our country in the 1840s as Sojourner Truth began her protest were hurting, the people of the Civil War era were hurting, the people of the 1960s were hurting and the people of today are hurting. There are only three things that will actually heal us as a nation for the hurting that we have been going through since the days of Sojourner Truth and before, that is repentance, forgiveness and the main one, love. You see, love creates forgiveness and forgiveness creates love.

All of this needs to be followed by what my daughter calls “Dad Hugs” — hugs that say I love you; hugs that say, I am with you; hugs that say it is going to be OK; hugs that say what can I do for you; hugs that say again I love you. It really does not matter what color you are, it does not matter what part of the world you are from. We are all humans, we are all Americans. We all have red blood running through our veins. Do we have differences? Sure, but none that can not be solved by forgiveness, love and a dad hug.

So no matter who is reading this I ask that you make your mind up today to repent from your thoughts and actions that may have caused you to have non-loving motivation, I ask that you forgive those that have wronged you and make amends, I ask that you let love be who you are! I ask that you give “Dad Hugs!”

Let the healing start with you! Have the conversations. Have love! Let’s heal our nation.

DOUG YORK is a collector of cartes de visites living in Isle of Wight County. Contact him at liferecovery@cox.net.