Editorial and Opinion

Why History!

Editorial and Opinion of Contributor Castonoble Hooks

John Henrik Clarke describes history as ” History is a clock a people use to tell their cultural and political time of day. It is also a compass that people use to find themselves on the map of human geography.

History tells a people where they have been and what they have been. History tells a people who they are and what they are most important History tells a people where they still must go and what they still must be. The relationship of History to the people is the same as the relationship of the mother to the child. Nothing better describes my personal relationship with “History” coming as it did sitting at grandma’s knee. Virginia Dare Mcnair was born in 1888 Laurinburg, N.C. on a Lumbee reservation to an Indian mother and Negro (her word) father.

She was a master storyteller with a deep knowledge of both past events and contemporary issues of her day. She would captivate me as a child with wonderful stories of the ” Black Seminoles ” led by John Horse one of her greatest heroes. Ms. Virginia was my first teacher and one of the gifts she gave me was a love of our history.

The fact that my grandmother is named after the first white child born in America was not a loss to her and she didn’t like it at all, she hated it! She did not like, to use the words, “Care For” “Whites” or “Indians”. She told me that the Indians had named her that in the punishment of her black father. For hours we would sit her speaking of men and women black and bold. I becoming more and more wrapped in cultural cloth warmed in a grandmothers’ love.

Editorial Writer: Castonoble Hooks


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