Friends who have read z2 have begun sending me articles and links to other blogs discussing the disturbing tendency in my home region to glorify and revere some of the most vile leaders of the confederacy while overlooking the genuine heroism of people of all colors who stood up for human freedom and dignity. It is nice to discover that some of the more admirable characters in z2 have real life counterparts.
Please check out Chris Hedges column “White Power to the Rescue” here at a site called TruthDig, where you can read about the battle in Memphis to cease honoring Memphis native Nathan Bedford Forrest, who along with other dubious accomplishments was the first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. Many citizens of Memphis would prefer the city instead laud crusading black journalist Ida B. Wells, who risked her own life to write about the lynch mobs in the area, or German immigrant Jacob Burkle who used his house as a stop on the underground railroad for escaped slaves in the decade before the Civil War.
Part of the message of hope in z2 is that there are people from all backgrounds and all places worthy of our admiration. Too often, however, they aren’t the ones who have been etched into granite and are shown riding in on a horse.