GDG- NPS & slavery

CWMHTours at CWMHTours at
Mon Jan 2 16:45:37 CST 2012

RE:  The emphasize on slavery and emancipation at  battlefields sites it is 
not just the battlefields.
In 1992 I began as a tourguide working as a narrator on the  Tourmobile 
Trams in Wash, DC.  There was, to me anyway, a rather bizarre  over-emphasis on 
slavery on the tours.
In particular Arlington Cemetery demanded that in our "script"  that we 
make "X" number of references to slavery and  African-Americans.
Tourmobile was a contracted service vendor to the NPS which  dictated the 
content of T's tours.
I really have no objection at all to making such  references.  But 
currently Afro-African Americans are 10%-15% of the  population and they deserve 
appropriate attention.  
But if you ask me I think the proportion was way out of whack  when it came 
to the issue.  
And most citizens know almost nothing of the history of the  cemetery and 
the plantation.
I am convinced IMO that there was less emphasis on George  Washington, for 
example, and his descendents there that there should have  been while slave 
and African-Americans were over-emphasized.
There were plenty of other things there that could have been  mentioned.  
Had not slavery and A-A's been emphasized I think all things  considered much 
more important stuff was omitted while we talked about slavery  and A-A's.  
Take the issue of race out of it and they were topics far less  important 
than other things.
I can't imagine how many people visit Arl Cem for a dose of  slave history 
but it must be practically none.
Where the motivation for this emphasis comes from I don't  know.  But then 
again I have learned to be no admirer of the  NPS.
I have never been in the VC at Gtysbg.  I have heard  about the emphasis on 
slavery in there and have avoided the place.
Who in their right mind comes to Gettysburg to learn about  slavery?
Your  Most Obedient Servant,

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